Who’s that Barbary macaque with the curved back?
In late spring/early summer, as you may know, we are lucky enough to welcome beautiful baby Barbary macaques into the world. These babies go on to learn about life within the troop. How to interact with each other, play and climb trees. If you follow us on social media, you will see that we make sure we tell the world about the new arrivals. But have you ever wondered about those that arrived to the world first, the old timers in the troop? The ones who have been there, done that and got the banana?
The oldest monkey we have here at Trentham Monkey Forest is 31 years of age, this is an Adult Female who is situated at Feeding Section 4, mostly sitting at the bottom of the hill. 31 years of age in Barbary macaques is the equivalent of being over 100 years old in human years. WOW let that sink in. The average life expectancy of a Barbary macaque in a park like ours is 23. This life expectancy is higher than it would be in the wild due to favourable living conditions (e.g. no predators, food provided). So this Adult Female is doing incredibly well.
This 31 year old female, ‘027’ was born in 1990. She has had two sons and two daughters in the troop. Her offspring also went on to have babies, so she is actually a grandmother to a sub-adult male and female. Who knows, she might even become a great grandmother next season.
Our guides love to tell visitors about ‘the old girl’ and often point her out if she is about, so feel free to ask on your next visit!
Wanting to spot our oldest monkey? Here’s a few ways you can tell that a monkey is of old age:
- Curved back
- Slow moving
- Hard of hearing
- Worn or missing teeth
- Needs lots of rest
- Older females tend to have black fur around their face like a beard