The black and white Colobus monkey

Grumeti | February 2020

The black and white Colobus (Guereza occidentalis) live in small territories along the riparian of the Grumeti River. A troop usually consists of several related offspring with one or more hierarchically ranked males. Males tend to disperse eventually promoting female cohesion within the troops. 

The colobus is a gentle monkey by nature and very impressive to look at with its long white mantles and fluffy white tip to the tail. They maintain a folivorous diet almost exclusively and the stomach is well adapted to this source of nutrition. Being able to utilize dry and fibrous foliage during the winter months means that the Colobus do not need to move such great distances to find other food sources throughout the season, as with Vervet monkeys or Sykes monkeys. 

Interestingly enough, through evolution, the Colobus monkey has lost the thumb digit on the hand as it is no longer required for its feeding habits or movement through the trees. The scientific name Colobus derives from the Greek kolobus meaning “mutilated” referring to the lack of thumb. 

A beautiful sighting as the Colobus sit out in the evening sunlight, catching the last rays of the day before retiring to their roosting sites in the thick riverine.