After about a week of seeing, smelling, hearing and even touching each other through a mesh divider, the barriers between the zoo’s three Patas monkeys was removed Feb. 7.
Incus, the male seems to be getting along well with DJ and Kibibi, sisters the Rosamund Gifford Zoo in Syracuse, N.Y., donated to Zoo Boise. DJ, the older sister, will reach sexual maturity soon and could mate with Incas, zoo staff says.
“With the temperatures that we’re expecting this weekend you should be able to see them,” zoo director Steve Burns said.
Before the sisters were placed in the enclosure with Incus, the male had lived alone since Cratey, who he grew up with, was killed in November. Police say 22-year-old Michael Watkins, of Weiser, jumped a fence at the zoo and fatally wounded Cratey. He pled guilty to felony burglary and grand theft. He’s scheduled to go to trial May 13.
Incus, DJ and Kibibi will live in the Primate House until May, when they move to their outdoor exhibit. Burns said the blueprints for a 1,500-square-foot Patas Monkey Exhibit are almost complete, and a three- to four-month construction period could get under way by the end of April. The exhibit will be located in the African Plains exhibit near the giraffe barn. It will feature indoor and outdoor living space and three large viewing windows for the public. The City of Boise and private donors, responding to Cratey’s death, contributed $219,000 to build the exhibit, which is expected to open in the fall.
Meanwhile, Patas monkey hearts aren’t the only ones aflutter at Zoo Boise. According to a news release, the zoo’s snow leopard couple is “inseparable and can be seen in their exhibit sitting close together and nuzzling” these days. This, after a disappointing 2012 mating season in which the male showed no interest in the female, according to the news release.