The Lake Superior Zoo welcomed the birth of a baby Angolan colobus monkey early Tuesday morning.
For the zoo's director of animal management, Dave Thompson, the birth was a welcomed surprise, as the babies weigh less than a pound when they're born, making a pregnancy tough to spot.
"It's the best way to wake up, ever," Thompson said about arriving to work after the birth. "There's no better way to start the day than having a nice healthy, infant baby."
The sex of the baby monkey is still unknown and no name has been chosen, though Thompson said a naming contest is likely after the gender has been determined.
Angolan colobus monkeys are born with white hair that doesn't turn black for about three months.
Seventeen-year-old Kero gave birth to the new baby, making her a second-time mother. Thompson said Kero has taken to the role of motherhood much more intuitively than she did in 2013. Kero could be seen holding the infant close.
After her first birth, Thompson said Kero wasn't sure how to hold or nurse the baby, but fortunately Kero's mother, Kelly, was around to show her at the time.
"Kero was really good at dropping her infant off with mom and walking away, and sometimes would spend an hour or two away from the baby," Thompson said. "Kero had her own in-house babysitter if you will."
Kero and the baby share an exhibit at the zoo with the 7-year-old father, Ndizi. He's a first-time father who had never been around an infant before.
"The role the male plays in raising the infant is absolutely zero," Thompson said. "He likes to meddle. He certainly is interested in the baby, but mom is the sole provider. She provides all the care and actually gets a little annoyed if Ndizi gets in the way."
The Lake Superior Zoo is part of a species survival program that aims to maintain genetically diverse populations and recommends particular species to breed, including the Angolan colobus monkeys.
"We have several animals that are recommended to breed," Thompson said. "That said, it's up to them. All we can do is provide them with a calm and natural environment and the rest is really up to them."
The life expectancy of Angolan colobus monkeys typically ranges between 25 and 35 years.