Taronga Zoo, situated in the beautiful city of Sydney, Australia, welcomed the birth of an elusive monkey species just this past week.
The monkey in question, a newborn Francois Langur, is shown in the photograph above. Its bright-orange fur contrasts against the mother’s jet-black fur, and according to the zoo, it won’t always be that way. As the monkey ages, its fur color will change, eventually appearing more like its mother’s.
From what we can gather, the newborn monkey is a male and just under two weeks old. Zoo staff still haven’t named the young creature, but we do know that the mother’s name is Noel.
It’s always a heart-warming moment for zoo staff when a park animal gives birth to younglings, but in this particular instance, it was also an exciting moment for animal conservationists. As it turns out, the Francois Langur is a particularly elusive species, with some estimates suggesting that there are fewer than 3,000 individuals in the wild today.
“Seeing Francois’ Langurs in the wild is incredibly rare, but seeing a baby is even more so. Their vibrant orange color may only last for a few weeks before they start to turn black,” commented Jane Marshall, a senior zookeeper at Taronga Zoo.
“Not a lot of people know about Francois' Langurs as a species, but these beautiful animals are very vibrant animals, who are incredibly agile and intelligent,” she continued.
The Francois Langur is native to Asia, and more specifically, distinct parts of China and Vietnam. The species’ low population count can be attributed to various factors, with animal poaching and habitat loss by way of unrelenting land development topping the list.
“With only around 3000 individuals left in the wild, these animals are in trouble. The birth of this male at Taronga is great news for the species,” Marshall added.
The not-yet-named newborn is purportedly the third Francois' Langur to be conceived and delivered at Tarogna Zoo. So long as the park’s breeding program is allowed to continue, we might expect to see more Francois' Langurs born in the coming years.