King colobus monkey

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Animal File

Common Name:
King colobus monkey
Scientific Name:
Colobus polykomos
Size: Up to 66 cm long (body)
Weight: Up to 13.6 kg
Native to Africa
Rain Forest

Conservation Status


African King colobus monkeys have distinctive long, strong, white tails which act as an extra support as they live mainly up in tall trees of the rainforest canopy and feed on leaves, flowers and fruit. In fact, they spend much of their time eating as leaves have little nutritional value so a great many are needed to fill their quite large stomachs. In the Zoo, the monkeys are fed a leafeater prepared diet, carrots, seeds, vegetables and rice. Twice a week they receive treats such as boiled eggs or rice.

Habitat destruction and bushmeat hunting have reduced the numbers of King colobus and they are now classed as Vulnerable of the IUCN list of endangered species. They are also killed by birds of prey and leopards.

Living up to 30 years, these monkeys produce just one baby a year which is completely white when it’s born. They darken over time until they’re completely black with a white frame to the face and the white tail. 

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