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ST. LOUIS • The St. Louis Zoo announced Tuesday the birth of a male colobus monkey, the first born there in 11 years.

The colobus monkey, named Mosi, was born May 20 to Roberta, 23, who came to the St. Louis Zoo last summer from the Binder Park Zoo in Battle Creek, Mich.

Mosi is Swahili for "first-born child," said Joe Knobbe, primate manager. While Roberta has had babies three times before, Mosi is the first for father Kima.

Knobbe said Roberta came to St. Louis last year from Michigan, where attempts to integrate her with a group of colobus monkeys there failed. She was a loner there, and St. Louis zoologists had thought Roberta couldn't reproduce because of her old age. Colobus monkeys' lifespan is 25 to 30 years.

"It's been quite a few years since she's produced an offspring," Knobbe said. "We don't expect it, but it does happen."

The St. Louis Zoo also has a younger colobus female — 11-year-old Cecilia — which zoo workers hope will learn maternal instincts from Roberta.

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"We're hoping that somewhere down the line we'll have another one," Knobbe said. 

Mosi can be seen in the zoo's primate house.

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