Blank Park Zoo
Blank Park Zoo

Open Daily, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
$20 adults, $15 children

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Open Daily, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
$20 adults, $15 children

View All Rates ›

Zoo Welcomes a Japanese Macaque Baby

June 12, 2017

Iowa’s Blank Park Zoo welcomed another baby to the Japanese macaque troop on June 3. The female macaque weighed 572 grams at birth – a big, yet healthy, weight. Her mother, ‘Miya,’ who was born in 2012, was the first successful birth of a Japanese macaque at Blank Park Zoo in over 15 years.

Zookeepers describe the baby as ‘spunky with a little attitude.’

“She is very cute and we are thrilled that another macaque baby has been born considering the challenges involved with a macaque breeding program,” said Mark Vukovich, CEO.

Since 2012, there have been five macaques born at Blank Park Zoo.

Because ‘Miya’ is young and a first time mom and did not let the baby nurse, keepers sprang into action and are bottle feeding the baby until she is big enough to join the troop in about four to six months.

“It really shows the dedication the staff has to the animals that live at Blank Park Zoo,” said Vukovich.

In several weeks, zoo visitors will have a chance to see the baby from the west observation deck in a special outdoor area set up for her.

Baby Japanese Macaque Facts

Name: To be named this Friday at Zoobilation, Blank Park Zoo’s Gala Fundraiser

Relationship: Mother is ‘Miya,’ first successful macaque born at Blank Park Zoo in many years in 2012; Father is ‘Kitsi’

Age: June 3, 2017

Sex: Female

Weight at birth: 572 grams

Number of Japanese Macaques the currently reside at Blank Park Zoo: 11

About Japanese Macaques

Habitat: They range from the subtropical lowlands to the subalpine regions of Japan.
Diet in the Wild: Leaves, grain, fruit, insects, tree buds, shoots, and mice
Diet at the Zoo: Monkey biscuits, oranges, sunflower seeds, and raisins. Free browsing
Description: The average body mass for an adult male Japanese macaque is around 25 pounds and they measure from 19 to 24 inches. The fur color varies from brown to white. There is no hair on the face and it becomes red during adulthood. This species has a relatively short tail.
Adaptation/Behavior: Japanese macaques are tree dwelling (arboreal) and active during the day (diurnal.) They are social animals and live in troops comprising of both males and females. Hierarchy in the troop is based on the matriline amongst females and strength amongst males. Macaques are intelligent and may use tools to obtain food. In the cold winter months, they will bask in the sun and soak in natural hot springs. This species has cheek pouches to carry food in while it forages.
Courtship/Breeding: When the female is ready to mate, her perineum swells and becomes redden. Gestation period is between 170 to 180 days. Single births occur, and breeding time is usually from November to January.

Life Expectancy: The life expectancy of a female is 23.8 years and 18.5 years for a male.
Conservation: Japanese macaques are threatened due to deforestation and the loss of their habitat. As human development invade the territories of these macaques, human and macaque encounters increase, and about 5000 macaques are captured or shot each year (despite protection from the Japanese government) for they are considered as agricultural pests.

Pictures and video: (*photography note: Japanese macaque babies have a clinging instinct to hold onto mother. Since this baby is being hand raised by zookeepers, she has been given ‘stuffed animals’ to cling onto.)

About Blank Park Zoo

Blank Park Zoo, Iowa’s WILDEST Adventure, is open 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Admission rates are $14 for an adult, $8 for a child (3-12 years), and $11 for a senior. Children two years and under and Blank Park Zoo members are free. The Zoo is located at 7401 SW 9th St., Des Moines, IA 50315. Visit the Zoo online at The Zoo is an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) The AZA is America’s leading accrediting organization that sets rigorous, professional standards for zoos and aquariums. The AZA is building North America's largest wildlife conservation movement by engaging and inspiring the 143 million annual visitors to its member institutions and their communities to care about and take action to help protect wildlife.


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