A special kind of Grubb!
Wednesday 30 April 2003
First Francois' langur monkey born in mainland Britain
Keepers at London Zoo's primate section have achieved a mainland Britain first following the successful birth of a Francois' langur monkey.
The baby, as yet unsexed, but named Grubb after a student who was studying them at London Zoo, was born to parents Max and Shaneka on the 15th April, 2003. Max, now nine years old came to London in January 2000 from Belfast Zoo and was born in Shanghai Zoo. He was joined by twelve year old Shaneka in July 2002, having come to us from Lisbon Zoo, she was born in a rare breed centre in China.
Adult Francois' langur are a medium sized primate with a glossy black coat, long tail and white sideburns extending from the corner of the mouth to the top of the ears. The young, however, are orange providing a stark contrast against the black of their parents. This is so that the juvenile females will notice the youngsters and start practising their own parental skills or 'aunting' but also so they can be easily spotted when they start to venture, their hair will begin to darken after three to six months. Grubb will suckle from its mother until at least a year old.
Mick Carman, Specialist primate Keeper, said, "This is major achievement for us all here at London Zoo, to have bred our first Francois' langur. Shaneka is a natural mother and Grubb is doing exceptionally well too, it is also very rewarding to have had a successful birth given their vulnerable status in the wild".
Found in north east Vietnam, south eastern China, and west central Laos, the Francois' langur prefers habitat containing moist forest that grows on well-sheltered rocky areas in the limestone hills and caves. Little is known about them, but it is thought they live in a harem society with one adult male overseeing a family group of three to twelve individuals consisting of four to six females and their young. Leaves are a major part of their diet although fruit, buds, flowers, seeds, stems and bark supplement are also eaten. .
The Francois' langur is listed under CITES Appendix II and on the IUCN Red List as Vulnerable. This is primarily due to hunting, habitat destruction and fragmentation.
Founded in 1826, the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) is an international scientific, conservation and educational charity: our key role is the conservation of animals and their habitats. ZSL runs London Zoo and Whipsnade Wild Animal Park, carries out scientific research in the Institute of Zoology and is actively involved in field conservation in 30 countries worldwide.
For further information please contact the ZSL Press Office
Leana Rochman, Press Officer
Tel: 020 7449 6361
PR Office mobile: 07889 043843
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