It took two years to figure out how a monkey can have a baby monkey when it lives alone.
The monkey became pregnant while living alone in a Japanese zoo. The zoo staff were at a loss to explain the situation. However, the mystery of the monkey’s pregnancy was not finally solved until two years later.
Momo, a white-faced monkey at the Kujukushima Zoo and Botanical Garden in Nagasaki, gave birth one day.
Zoo officials turned to science to solve the mystery. They analyzed DNA taken from hair and dung samples to try to determine the animal’s identity. They were trying to find the monkey’s father. This study took two years.
In the end, they discovered that the father was Itou, a 34-year-old monkey. But the workers still couldn’t understand how the two monkeys managed to spend time together when they were in separate cages.
The monkey lived in a cage with large bars, also covered with wire mesh and boards. So she couldn’t have any normal relationship with the monkey.
But when they searched hard, they found a hole in the wall. This wall then separated the monkey’s cage from the exhibition space, which he and Itoh took turns occupying.
“We think it’s very likely that one day when Itoh was in the exhibit space, they copulated through the hole,” Yamano told Vice.
The zoo now plans to try to rehome Itoh the monkey.
So he can be with his family. The hole in the wall has been replaced by a steel fence. So the plan is for Momo and Itoh to move in with the baby monkey. But the staff will have to do it gradually so that the pair can get used to each other’s company.
Zoo director Jun Yamano explained why it took so long to get a DNA sample. “It took us two years to figure it out. Because we couldn’t get close enough to take the samples; she was very protective of her son,” he said. “We think it’s very likely that on one of the days Itoh was in the exhibit area, they copulated through the opening.
He insists it’s important for the monkeys to get used to each other before they can be in the same enclosure.
Jun Yamano said: “I hope they will live together as one family.
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