Taronga Zoo Sydney has announced the birth of a cute new male François’ Langur, who was born to mother Noel just a week ago and is yet to be named. Among the few rare species on the planet is the François’ langurs, world’s rarest monkeys, with a population of only 3,000 in the wild. This rare yet beautiful creature is born with bright orange hair contrasting to its black coloured parents. The colour difference is believed to make it easier for adult monkeys to identify and take care of the infants.
These creatures live in Harems, a group usually consisting of one or two males and a number of females, and every infant is cared for by a number of female François’ langurs. According to the zookeepers, all the members in the Harems share equal responsibilities in order to help mothers cope and help other females learn the skills they need to raise their own baby.
Jane Marshall, a senior zookeeper explained that it’s very interesting to see the females in the group interacting and caring for the baby selflessly. They all clearly care for him very much and pass him to one another throughout the day. Jane continued by saying that 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 surprisingly intelligent.
The process of growing include several weeks of intense care and the growing infant's vibrant colour begins to change, turning black like its older siblings.
While François’ langurs were once populous in China and Vietnam, they are now critically endangered thanks to poaching for traditional medicines. They are also losing their habitat fast through mining and deforestation. The birth of this little one helps give this special species a little bit of hope.
François' langur lives in groups of four to 27 langurs, but will usually be found in groups around 12. It lives in a matriarchal society where the females lead the group. Young langurs are nursed up to two years before being weaned, and once weaned, the relationship amongst the relatives becomes that of any other member of a given group.