Gizmo Jaxon the patas monkey; star of the Safari West Name That Monkey extravaganza! Remember that adorable little guy? You fans of Safari West helped name him back in August of last year when he was brand new and little more than a black puff-ball of fur. Few things could be more adorable than our tiny baby patas with his big peering eyes and cute little elf ears. For the first week of his life, Gizmo’s mom Izzi kept her new baby so close to her chest, we couldn’t tell if it was a he or a she. Hard to believe that was already six whole months ago!
Gizmo’s hesitant black-furred baby phase didn’t last long at all. Within a few short weeks of his birth, he was tumbling and tottering around the enclosure. Over the course of the first two months, he became increasingly inquisitive and independent. He rarely ventured far, however, and any scary noise or movement would make him squeak and sprint back to the safety of mom’s arms. Not only is the big outside world a bit scary to a brand new babe, but young Gizmo also had to contend with a jealous big sister; Jasmine.
Prior to Gizmo’s birth, Jasmine’s main playmate had been Izzi and once the newborn appeared, young Jasmine seemed to become a little frustrated by mom’s divided attention. She was pretty rough on little Gizmo in those early days; pouncing on him when he didn’t expect it and pushing him around roughly (in her defense, she’s not a mean monkey, she had just never had to share the world with a baby brother before).
Fast forward to February and boy-oh-boy how the little guy has grown. Young Gizmo is a completely different monkey now. He’s outgrown his black fur and become the same tawny golden color of the rest of his family. While still the smallest of the bunch, he’s already beginning to catch up to his big sister and when they’re racing around the enclosure, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to tell which blur is which.
He’s also managed to turn the tables on Jasmine a little bit and we frequently see him ambushing his sister from the cover of the trees. He’s a fan of the lightning raid; leaping on her while she’s eating and then sprinting away. Jasmine’s not normally content to let her bratty baby brother get away with this and the attack rarely goes unpunished. This makes for a great show and many a safari tour stalls when it comes within sight of our patas enclosure.
The nice thing about the raucous play of the youngsters is that it has given their parents a little more time alone. Recently we’ve been seeing a lot of grooming and canoodling between our patas parents.
Gizmo Jaxon has been scampering about Safari West for six months now. While past his infancy, he remains our favorite little ball of energy. This spring, swing on by Safari West and come watch Gizmo grow up with us. It’s a show like no other.