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Allen's Swamp Monkey

Allenopithecus nigroviridis

Did you know?

  • Allen’s swamp monkeys are a part of the Cercopithecidae family, which they share with other African-Eurasian monkeys.
  • Their name comes from a common habitat they live in: swamp forests.
  • They live in a variety of habitats near freshwater in west Central Africa.
  • They are quite curious and are often seen manipulating objects.
  • A female will give birth to one young.


Allen’s swamp monkeys are intelligent. They are so good at taking things apart that animal care staff have to padlock enrichment items to keep them in place. As their name implies, swamp monkeys live near water and are good swimmers. Their webbed toes help them paddle through water. They have been known to dive into the water to escape predators. Their dark hair is perfect for camouflaging in their swampy habitat.

Young and Family

Although swamp monkeys are not well studied in the wild, it is known that they live in social groups of about 40 animals. Like a baseball umpire, these animals communicate with members of their troop using gestures and calls, such as warning chirps, deep croaks and grunts. Multiple males and females live in a group, and it is likely they breed throughout the year. After a gestation of about six months, a female usually gives birth to one young.

Threat Level

  • Unknown
  • Common
  • Near Threatened
  • Threatened
  • Endangered
  • Critically Endangered
  • Extinct in the Wild


The Allen's Swamp Monkey is likely to qualify for threatened category in the near future, perhaps very quickly depending on local development projects such as rainforest logging.


West Central Africa


Swamps and riverine forests

We care about Allen’s swamp monkeys

The Saint Louis Zoo participates in the Association of Zoos and Aquariums' Species Survival Program for swamp monkeys. We support a group in the Primate House and Primate Canopy Trails at the Zoo. Learn more about our conservation efforts.

Dedicated to Conservation

Find this animal in Historic Hill


Historic Hill

Historic Hill is a lovely stroll through one of the oldest parts of the Saint Louis Zoo. From the 1904 World’s Fair Flight Cage to the Spanish architectural flavor of the 1920s in the Bird House, Primate House and Herpetarium to the finishing touches of our thoroughly modern exhibits, this area of the Zoo has a unique ambiance and a nostalgic history that make it a great destination.

Explore Historic Hill