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Animal World: Our Co-inhabitants

Zanzibar Red Colobus-People: The Sociable East African Islanders

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Our species of red colobus-people is endemic to Zanzibar, which means this is the only place on Earth where you will find us. Mostly, we enjoy living in coastal thickets, but some of us have our homes on farmland or in mangrove swamps.

As monkey-people go, we are medium-sized. Red colobus-people are arboreal, so we don’t spend much time on the ground. We are a diurnal species, which means we are active during the daytime, and we are also qualified herbivores.

“Colobus” comes from a Greek word that means “cut short.” We do not have thumbs. Or, if some species have them, they are too small to be functional. Instead, we have four long and strong fingers for grasping things. These, combined with our powerful hind limbs and long tail, make us agile jumpers and climbers.

Our families are pretty big, often with 30 to 50 members. Usually, there are four adult males, numerous adult females, and of course, all their children. To keep the troop organized, one of the males is dominant, and he is respected as the boss, but mostly the guys are close and work well as a team.

Since we are not a territorial species, we don’t have vocalizations for defending our turf, but we certainly love to communicate and socialize with each other. We use barks and make other noises that sound like “chist” and “wheet” to express our feelings.

According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List assessment completed in 2018, our species is “Endangered.” It appears that habitat loss due to timber cutting, charcoal production, and human residential developments could be the end of the road for us. May I ask you to join us in prayer? Your kindness – not only to us but toward all animal-people – would surely put a smile on Heaven’s face. And that may help your species survive too!
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