Primarily Primates resident patas monkey Lennie, who arrived in 2013, always seems to be filled with joie de vivre. He is constantly on the move, using his strong legs and speed to bounce from one climbing structure to the next. He loves running along the perimeter of his habitat, especially when care staff are nearby.
An ex-pet, he has even more to be cheerful about now that PPI has rescued three more patas monkeys—Leroy, Lynn and Limbo—from a shuttered roadside zoo.
PPI’s patas monkey residents are striking with their reddish coat that fades to shades of white and gray near their underbelly. Their facial hair makes it appear like they have thick white mustaches.
Like Lennie, Leroy is active most of the day. If he’s not interacting with care staff and trying to mimic their facial expressions, he’s running up and down his enclosure while Limbo runs up and down hers.
Patas monkeys are the fastest- running primates and can sprint up to 35 mph in just three seconds. They are found in the wild all across West and East Africa.
They occur across sub-Saharan Africa from Senegal to Ethiopia and as far south as Cameroon and Tanzania in various types of terrain, but prefer open country.
In the wild patas monkeys feed primarily on grasses, gum, berries, fruits, beans and seeds. Preferred species include common savanna trees and shrubs such as Acacia, torchwood, Euclea and num-num. At the site of Friends of Animals’ scimitar-horned oryx reintroduction project in Senegal, they’ve been observed dining on cactus leaves.
Leroy’s favorite foods are bananas, mangos, sweet potatoes and bell peppers. Lynn’s favorite foods are grapes and sweet potatoes while Limbo’s are peanuts and watermelon.
Lynn and Limbo are smaller than Lennie and Leroy. They love to forage for food and receive new enrichment items. Lynn also enjoys sitting high up and taking in her surroundings. Lynn enjoys human interaction—she loves to investigate care staff from head to toe.
Like all primates, patas monkeys are not meant to be pets. Originally purchased as a pet when he was a baby, Lennie lived with a family for about four years. But the playful youngster who was once part of the family matured quickly, and it shocked his owners when Lennie began to display his naturally aggressive traits.
They relegated him to a small, uncomfortable cage in the basement. Locked away like a bad secret, Lennie was deprived of the attention he wanted and needed. To make matters worse, his owners decided to move to another state where private possession of monkeys was prohibited. They quickly learned that it’s not easy to pass a pet patas monkey off to someone else.
Now Lennie gets lots of attention and enrichment—he’s particularly fond of basketballs, bright-colored toys and his giant caterpillar stuffed animal.
When given PVC tubes or Kongs filled with treats, Lennie has a unique way of getting to the snacks—he throws the items around until the treats fall out.