Adorable Baby Mandrill is a Great Addition to the Denver Zoo’s Primates


Photos taken by Carlie McGurie, Denver Zoo


Mandrills are colorful, playful monkeys from the Congo. The Denver Zoo and zookeeper Tenley Davis are excited to introduce their newest Mandrill to the public! Kesi, the daughter of Jelani and Kumani, was born May 10, and weighed 3-pounds. Kumani was pregnant with Kesi for around 175 days before giving birth. Kesi is a very playful and energetic addition to the group.

When it comes to general parenting, Jelani really doesn’t do much with Kesi. They rarely interact. Kumani prefers to keep a tight grip on her daughter while making sure the other Mandrills don’t try to take her child. She allows Davis and the other zookeepers to see Kesi but rarely lets them touch her. When they try, Kumani usually nods her head to warn them to back off. Sometimes, Kumani gets rewarded with treats for allowing the zookeepers to touch Kesi.

Kesi has matured quickly; she was born with no teeth and now she has six! Additionally, she has already developed the muscle to climb around her mother. It usually takes human babies 6 months to even begin to crawl!

Kumani does have the choice to go inside if she wants, so if you get to the mandrill enclosure and she is not there, you can come back later and she might be outside with Kesi. Kesi is not going anywhere for a while, although Davis is unsure if they will ultimately move her to a different zoo. If the zoo does decide that Kesi should be moved, they would have to wait 5-7 years for her to be mature enough!

Kesi, her mother, and the rest of the mandrills are very interesting and an exhibit that everybody should consider seeing.