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The Zoo Welcomes New Group
of Japanese Macaques!

Japanese Macaques

Posted January 2017

The Milwaukee County Zoo is pleased to add six Japanese macaque monkeys to its existing collection.  The new residents arrived last summer from around the country, including females Zeppeki and Usagi from Green Bay, females Negai and Rikka from Minnesota, male Kota from New York and Kaishi, the male baby of Negai.  Their ages range from 8 months to 5 years old, which is considered relatively young for Japanese macaques.  According to Trish Khan, Primate and Small Mammal Curator at the Zoo, their young age is vital to their integration process.

Japanese MacaquesThese six new macaques join the Zoo’s three older snow monkeys, Kodomo, Bogie and Grinch, who seem fine with having some younger friends around the exhibit.  “The introductions have gone very well,” says Khan.  “They love the space and have been so active.”

In the wild, Japanese macaques follow a defined hierarchy within their social groups.  In the Zoo’s collection, things are no different; Bogey and Grinch are the dominant male and female, with the new members looking to them for direction and trying their best to fit in.  “They all have such unique personalities,” Khan notes.  “We’ve had so much fun observing them.”

The macaques come to the Zoo as part of a Species Survival Plan® (SSP), which manages endangered or threatened species within organizations accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums.  The Zoo and SSP would like to see breeding take place in the group once Kota reaches maturity in two to three years.

Visit Macaque Island, located between the Stearns Family Apes of Africa and Primate buildings and the Oceans of Fun Seal & Sea Lion Show, to the meet the Zoo’s new Japanese macaques!