Taronga keepers are thrilled to welcome the birth of a bright orange female François’ Langur, one of the world’s rarest monkeys.
Born 21 July, the tiny infant has been named ‘Embe,’ after the Vietnamese word for baby to represent her Southeast Asian heritage.
Like all young François Langurs, Embe was born with distinctive bright orange hair, a stark contrast to her parents’ black colouring. It’s believed the colour distinction makes it easier for adults to identify and look after infants.
Senior Primate Keeper, Jane Marshall, said: “Little Embe is doing really well. She’s bright, attentive and interactive. At three weeks old she’s already starting to explore her environment by picking up pieces of bark and is starting to grab at mum’s food.”
“She’s a stunning golden colour at the moment, but we’re already starting to see her hair growing dark on her body.”
“First-time-mum Noel is doing a great job. We’ve seen her showing all the right mothering behaviours and father Bobo is being protective when he needs to be but is also giving Noel and her infant plenty of space.”
“Experienced mother Meili is also on hand to help out when Noel needs a break. This is called alloparenting, or ‘auntying’, where other females in the group lend a hand to raise the baby. She’s much more confident with the baby and often lets Embe explore a little on her own,” said Jane.
The young Langur is also receiving lots of attention from nine-month-old Nagua, who can often be seen doing daring acrobatics amongst the trees and vines of their exhibit along the Rainforest Trail.
“I think Nangua can’t wait until she’s old enough to play. He’s started tugging her tail and feet every now and then to try and get her attention. Once she’s a few months old they’ll start to play together under the watchful eyes of the other females.”
Taronga is the only Zoo in Australia to care for this critically endangered species.
François’ Langurs are found in China and Vietnam and have been heavily poached for traditional medicines.
“With only around 2,000 individuals left in the wild these animals are in trouble. The birth of this female at Taronga is great news for the species.”
“The animals we have here are important ambassadors who help shine a light on the situation in the wild,” said Jane.