(Colobus guereza)




Facts about this animal

The guereza is a long-tailed, relatively large monkey of sturdy build, with a characteristic cloak of long white hairs, and a variably tufted tail. The head-body length is 54-75 cm, the tail is 67-89 cm. Females are somewhat smaller. Guerezas have only four digits on each hand; the thumb is absent or reduced.


Numbers have declined drastically in the last 100 years due to fur trade in the nineteenth century, and subsequently by rapid human population growth and habitat destruction in Africa.

Did you know?
That colobus monkeys have a specially adapted stomach that is sacculated and supports bacterial colonies? These bacteria make it possible for digestion of cellulose in their diet of leaves, unripe fruit, and seeds, enabling the colobuses to occupy ecological niches that are inaccessible to other primates.


Suborder SIMIAE
Name (Scientific) Colobus guereza
Name (English) Guereza
Name (French) Colobe guéréza
Name (German) Mantelaffe
Name (Spanish) Colobo guereza
Local names kiSwahili: mbega mweusi na mweupe, kuluzu
CITES Status Appendix II
CMS Status Not listed



Photo Copyright by
Kabir Bakie



Range Central and eastern Africa from east Nigeria to Ethiopia, Kenya and north Tanzania. The guereza has the widest geographical distribution of all the colobus species.
Habitat Montane, riverine and lowland forests, woodlands, or wooded grasslands.
Wild population Unknown, but abundant (Red List IUCN 2011).
Zoo population 581 reported to ISIS (2007)

In the Zoo



How this animal should be transported

For air transport, Container Note 31 of the IATA Live Animals Regulations should be followed.


Find this animal on ZooLex


Photo Copyright by
Duncan Wright

Why do zoos keep this animal

Guerezas, being social, diurnal, and appealing looking, are a perfect ambassador species for the threatened fauna and habitats of Central and Eastern Africa. Their leaf-eating habits and the related adaptation of their digestive tract is of educational interest. The guerezais also a species which can be displayed in "Walk-thru" exhibits, allowing for close encounters between animals and people. The public should, however, not be allowed to feed the animals.