Staff at Belfast Zoo are overjoyed at the birth of two babies in their resident François’ Langur family group.
François’ Langurs are a medium-sized primate that can be found in the forests of Southeast Asia from south-eastern China to northern Vietnam. This leaf-eating monkey species is listed as Endangered with only an estimated 2000 individuals left in the wild, which makes the new arrivals more precious.
On 11 December, experienced mum Nicolene proudly showed keepers her new baby. Young François’ Langur babies are born a bright orange colour, which makes them easy to spot amongst the adults which are black in colour with a white stripe on each side of the face that runs from the corners of the mouth to the ears. They gradually turn from orange to black as they age, becoming fully black within the first year.
The excitement was heightened once again on the 18 January when keepers discovered another tiny baby, this time belonging to Mother Chua. Male François langur AJ, who is father to both, sat proudly amongst his family which is now up to 9 individuals.
Zoo Curator Andrew Hope, who is the Studbook Keeper for François’ langur breeding programme in Europe, said “We are delighted to welcome the two new infants into our Francois Langur group. Over 20 langur babies have been born here and each one is crucial to the Francois Langur European Endangered Species Programme (EEP) which has set goals to grow the population over the next five years. This will aid the long- term management plan that Belfast Zoo has recently established in cooperation with The EAZA office, the EAZA Afro-Eurasian Monkey TAG (Taxon Advisory Group) and the holders of the species.”
The sex of the babies has not been determined yet however the zoo is pleased to report that both babies and mothers are thriving. The eldest of the two is beginning to find their feet and exploring independently. The older baby has also been spotted trying to interact with their younger sibling, who is not yet ready to leave Chua’s protective grasp.
The François’ Langur family at Belfast Zoo can be spotted in their home next door to the Goodfellow’s Tree Kangaroos. Come along to welcome the two new bundles of joy.
The zoo is open every day 10am – 4pm with last admission at 2.30pm.
Online booking recommended. Normal admission applies.
For further information and to purchase tickets visit the Belfast Zoo website www.belfastzoo.co.uk