New Zealand Post - official issuer of New Zealand stamps & commemorative coins

2004 Year of the Monkey - New Zealand Zoo Animals

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Since their first appearance as exotic animal collections for Chinese and Aztec emperors and the pharaohs of ancient Egypt, zoos have continually changed with the times. Today as well as being popular visitor destinations, zoos around the world fulfil an important role as stewards of endangered species.

Issue information

The New Zealand Zoo Animals stamp issue highlighted five species being bred and nurtured in our zoos. They make a unique and important contribution to the diversity of our planet, yet all are officially listed as endangered.

Linking to the Lunar

A beautifully illustrated miniature sheet - also available with a first day cover - celebrated the stamps' connection with the Chinese Lunar Calendar, and specifically the Year of the Monkey in 2004. The eighth in an annual series of Lunar Calendar sheets, the miniature sheet captured the mischievous nature of these playful creatures.

Presentation Pack

You could find out how zoos began - and about their contemporary role as guardians of our endangered species - in the New Zealand Zoo Animals presentation pack. The pack included two first day covers, together with a complete set of the stamps and a miniature sheet.

First Day Cover with Stamps

The New Zealand Zoo Animals first day cover came with a complete set of one self-adhesive and five gummed stamps. They were displayed against a bewitching image of a Ring-tailed Lemur and Red Panda, the Panda enjoying its favourite, lazy reclining pastime.

A Collector's Collection

The New Zealand Zoo Animals limited edition was a stylish package containing a wealth of information on the five stamps. It included a special hand-signed first day cover, a unique miniature sheet, a set of five colour sperations and a set of five gutter pairs - the pairs joined by a beautiful illustration highlighting their link to the Chinese Lunar Year of the Monkey in 2004.

Product Listing for 2004 Year of the Monkey - New Zealand Zoo Animals

Click on image to enlarge.

Image Title Description Price
Single Stamp

Single 40c 'Hamadryas Baboon (Papio hamadryas hamadryas)' gummed stamp.

Known to travel up to 20 kilometres a day in search of food, the Hamadryas Baboon has adapted well to the dry, arid environments of Somalia, Ethiopia, Saudi Arabia and Yemen. These animals live in male-dominated communities of 100 or more, split into smaller 'harems' of an adult male and up to 10 females. At night, they sleep high up on rocky cliffs, away from the threats of predators.

Single Stamp

Single 90c 'Malayan Sun Bear (Helarctos malayanus)' gummed stamp.

A native of Asia's dense tropical and subtropical forests, this smallest of bears reaches only about 1.2 to 1.5 metres in length. A nocturnal feeder, it is also very secretive during the day, preferring to spend its time high up in the trees and away from the tigers and clouded leopards that hunt it.

Single Stamp

Single $1.30 'Red Panda (Ailurus fulgens fulgens)' gummed stamp.

Once a carnivore, the Red Panda has adapted to its changing environment, and a shortage of food, over many thousands of years. Now it feeds mainly on the bamboo leaves found in its native habitat of the Himalayas. However, once again its existence is under threat, for the bamboo forests are rapidly disappearing through deforestation.

Single Stamp

Single $1.50 'Ring-tailed Lemur (Lemur catta)' gummed stamp.

The Ring-tailed Lemur is distinctive for its extraordinarily long tail and its ghostly, staring eyes. The species comes from the rocky, scrubby areas of Madagascar, where it prefers to live in trees and feed on its favourite fruit of figs and bananas. Highly sociable animals, Ring-tailed Lemurs make a delightful cat-like purring sound when stroked and groomed.

Single Stamp

Single $2.00 'Spider Monkey (Ateles geoffroyi vellerosus)' gummed stamp.

The Spider Monkey is a true tree-dweller, using its exceptionally long tail to grasp and swing through the branches and its four limbs for walking, climbing, running and leaping - up to nine metres at a time. Living high among the trees in the rainforests of southern Mexico and Central America, these social animals live up to the age of 25 years in the wild.

Single Stamp Single 40c 'Hamadryas Baboon (Papio hamadryas hamadryas)' self-adhesive stamp. $0.40
Miniature Sheet Mint, used or cancelled miniature sheet. $3.50
First Day Cover First day cover with stamps affixed. Cancelled on the first day of issue. $7.00
Miniature Sheet First Day Cover First day cover with miniature sheet affixed. Cancelled on the first day of issue. $4.00
Self-adhesive Dispenser Dispenser box containing 100 x 40c self-adhesive stamps. $40.00
Self-adhesive Booklet Booklet containing 10 x 40c self-adhesive stamps. $4.00
Presentation Pack Presentation pack containing a selection of stamp products from the issue and further information on the theme of the stamps. $24.95
Limited Edition Limited edition collectable containing exclusive stamp products not available anywhere else. $135.00

Technical information

Date of issue: 28 January 2004
Number of stamps: Five
Denominations and designs: 40c Hamadryas Baboon, 90c Malayan Sun Bear, $1.30 Red Panda, $1.50 Ring-tailed Lemur, $2.00 Spider Monkey
Stamps and first day cover designed by: Donna McKenna, Wellington
Miniature sheet designed by: Lindy Fisher, Auckland
Printers and process: Gummed: Cartor Security Printing, France, by offset lithography; Self-adhesive booklet: Australia Post Sprintpak
Number of colours: Four process colours
Stamp size and format: 40mm x 30mm (vertical)
Paper type: Gummed: 102gsm red phosphor stamp paper; Self-adhesive stamp: JAC self-adhesive paper
Number of stamps per coil: 100
Number of stamps per booklet: 10
Number of stamps per sheet: 25 stamps per sheet plus one strip of five gutter images
Perforation gauge: 13
Special blocks: Plate/imprint blocks could be obtained by purchasing at least six stamps from a sheet. Barcode, value blocks and logo blocks could be obtained by purchasing at least two stamps from a sheet. Barcode blocks were available in both A and B format.
Period of sale: These stamps remained on sale until 27 January 2005.