Black-and-gold howler monkey (Alouatta caraya) is a new world monkey species occurring in tropical forests of South America.
What captures the eye here in this species is the undoubtedly very clear sexual dimorphism. Just like the white-cheek gibbons, the males have black hair and are larger than the olive-yellow coloured females. A large shell-like organ in the throat that gives resonance to the voice constitutes another interesting feature, it allows them to produce characteristic sounds - roars and howls that can be heard as far as 5 km away!
They lead arboreal life (mainly on treetops of the rainforest), so it is not surprising they have long front limbs and a gripping tail that is bare at the end.
They live in herds consisting of five to as many as thirty individuals, although they are usually limited to eight individuals. The female gives birth to one young after a gestation period of 180-194 days. The coloration of the young is similar to that of the female.
In our zoo, the black-and-gold howler monkeys live in the monkey-house pavilion, and in the summer they have to their disposal the outside run which consists of ladders and ropes above the heads of visitors.
It is worth listening for their sounds, which they use to mark their territory. It's like they are shouting, “I'm here, this land is mine”.