Hail Augustus: Zoo's new De Brazza's monkey gets a name

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photoDe Brazza's monkey Brooke cares for her baby at the Oregon Zoo. Keepers have named the newborn Augustus in memory of his father, Gus.

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PORTLAND — The Oregon Zoo's new De Brazza's monkey has a name: Augustus. He arrived Feb. 24, but his mother, Brooke, kept him so close that keepers couldn't be sure of his gender until recently.

"Augustus was attached to Brooke's belly 24/7 for about a month," said Asaba Mukobi, the zoo's senior primate keeper. "He's been growing more independent lately. We've seen him venturing out on his own, scurrying up branches and exploring the habitat. Brooke has been an excellent mother. She's been very protective and is very patient with all his adventures."

Keepers chose Augustus in honor of the monkey's father, Gus, who died last month of a chronic liver condition.

De Brazza's monkeys inhabit the dense, swampy forests of equatorial Africa, from western Cameroon to southern Ethiopia on the continent's east coast. They spend most of their time in the treetops and are most active during the early and later parts of the day. The monkeys are primarily herbivores, foraging for fruit, buds, young leaves and flowers -- but will occasionally catch insects and lizards to eat. They are territorial and live in small family groups.

To learn more about De Brazza's monkeys, visit http://oregonzoo.org/discover/animals/de-brazzas-monkey.

The Oregon Zoo opens at 9 a.m. daily. General admission is $11.50 for ages 12-64, $10 for seniors 65 and older and, $8.50 for children ages 3-11. The zoo is free for those 2 and younger. A parking fee of $4 per car is also required. For more information, visit http://www.oregonzoo.org or call 503-226-1561.