Name that monkey: National Zoo needs your help

There are four name options for the howler monkey. (Courtesy Mike Crosby/National Zoo)

WASHINGTON – What do you call a baby howler monkey at the National Zoo?

That’s the question zoo officials are trying to answer, and they’re appealing to fans of their Facebook page for help.

A poll presents four name options that the zoo says best reflect the baby monkey’s traits, personality and characteristics:

  • Sumaq – means “beautiful” in the Quechua language. The baby monkey is quite handsome, with golden hair and chocolate brown eyes.
  • Orejas – means “ears” in Spanish. While his fur blends right in with his mother’s, his ears stick out.
  • Nando – short for Fernando, which means “courageous.” The baby monkey was shy and clung to his mother until recently, when zoo officials says he grew more independent and active, swinging by his tail and walking across branches.
  • Loki – the Norse god of mischief. The baby monkey, eager to taste and touch his environment, has tried to steal food from his mom.

The zoo’s Facebook fans can vote until noon on Friday, exactly three months after the baby monkey’s birth on March 22.

A unique voice box and a large hyoid bone in the thick necks of howler monkeys enable them to cut through up to three miles of dense forest with one rumbling growl, warning competitors in the area to stay clear of leaves, flowers and fruit, according to the zoo. Howler monkeys earned the title of loudest monkey in the Western Hemisphere because of these growls.

Watch a video featuring the zoo’s new monkey addition below:

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