The Japanese Macaque Baby’s Name Is…

Posted Date

June 24, 2024


Animal Updates, In The News

No monkeying around: Stop and say hello to the Milwaukee County Zoo’s newest Japanese macaque, Mai! Born April 23, her name is pronounced “May” and means “brightness” or “dance” in Japanese. Zoo guests have been able to view Mai daily in her outdoor habitat, Macaque Island.

Mai was born to mother Rikka, 11, and father Kota, 9. The animal care team observes mom and baby consistently, and both are doing well. Rikka is an experienced mom and has two other offspring here: Nikko and Sora.

Mai stays close to Rikka, often being carried on mom’s belly or keeping within an arm’s length. Later this summer, Mai is expected to start venturing further away on her own. She’s still primarily nursing from Rikka but likely also eating small amounts of food. When she’s old enough, some of her solid foods will include fruits, vegetables, and greens.

You might see Rikka grooming Mai — or other troop members grooming each other, in addition to sunbathing or simply sleeping. If Mai and Rikka aren’t seen outside, they could be eating or resting indoors.

Fast Facts:

  • Japanese macaques live on the islands of Honshu, Shikoku, and Kyushu and further north than any other primate, apart from man.
  • They’re also known as snow monkeys, a terrestrial African-Eurasian monkey species. African-Eurasian monkeys have a non-prehensile tail (unable to grasp objects), nostrils closer together, and a nose that faces down.
  • Japanese macaques are listed as a Stable species in their natural range by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

For faster entry: Members and pre-ticketed guests, park at West End (enter at 106th St).