DENVER – It’s a face that more than a mother could love and if you’re a Lion King fan, you may remember Rafiki. Rafiki is Mandrill and now the Denver Zoo has a new baby! Mother’s Day was a very special day for a seven-year-old Mandrill named Kumani. She gave birth to an adorable little girl that’s named Kesi. Kesi is the first baby born to Kumani and her 11-year old mate, Jelani. The animal care team says the baby is doing very well and thriving.
Starting Friday, you can see Kesi out and about with Kumani in the mandrill troop’s habitat in the Congo Basin area in Primate Panorama. Zoo staffers say the best time to catch these colorful primates and catch a glimpse of Kesi is first thing in the morning or at lunchtime when they are foraging for food.
Mandrills are the largest of all monkeys. They are shy and reclusive primates that live only in the rain forests of equatorial Africa. Many people mistake them for baboons and really, they do look similar. In fact, baboons and mandrills belong to a completely different genus. Mandrills are known to live up to an age of 20-31 years in wild and over 40 years of age in captivity.