Posted on 04th October 2019 by Media Relations
Taronga Zoo Sydney is celebrating the birth of a new male François’ Langur, one of the world’s rarest monkeys. Just a week old, the new baby is yet to be named and was born to mother Noel.
Like all young François’ Langurs, the baby was born with distinctive bright orange hair, a stark contrast to his parents’ black colouring. It’s believed the colour distinction makes it easier for adults to identify and look after infants.
“Seeing François’ Langurs in the wild is incredibly rare, but seeing a baby is even more so. Their vibrant orange colour may only last for a few weeks before they start to turn black,” said Senior Zoo Keeper, Jane Marshall.
François’ Langurs live in harems, and the females take it in turns to care for him. This shared responsibility helps the mum cope with her new duties, and allows other females to learn the skills they need to become a mother.
“It’s very interesting seeing the females in the group interact and care for the baby. They all clearly care for him very much, and pass him to one another throughout the day, “said Marshall.
“Not a lot of people know about François’ Langurs as a species, but these beautiful animals are very vibrant animals, who are incredibly agile and intelligent,” said Marshall.
François’ Langurs are a critically endangered species found in China and Vietnam and continue to be heavily poached for traditional medicines and face habitat loss through mining and deforestation.
“With only around 3,000 individuals left in the wild, these animals are in trouble. The birth of this male at Taronga is great news for the species. We’re very lucky to have this birth at the zoo this month, and he is an amazing ambassador for the species and his wild relatives.”