News Good News One of the world’s rarest monkeys born at Taronga Zoo
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One of the world’s rarest monkeys born at Taronga Zoo

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One of the world’s rarest monkeys has been born at Taronga Zoo.

Nangua the Francois’ Langur, named after the Mandarin word for pumpkin, was discovered in mother Meili’s arms on November 7.

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Langurs – also known as Francois’ leaf monkeys – are usually born with bright orange hair, which is thought to make it easier for adults to identify and look after infants. Their hair slowly changes until it becomes black when they are about one year old.

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The monkeys are usually born with bright orange hair, which is thought to make it easier for adults caring for the infants. Photo: Taronga Zoo

The monkeys practice allomothering, which means Nangua will be looked after by all the females in the group.

Taronga Zoo senior primate keeper Jane Marshall said Nangua was already getting lots of attention from his mother and the other females, Noel and Elke.

The primate will be looked after by a group of mothers. Photo: ABC
The primate will be looked after by a group of mothers. Photo: Taronga Zoo

“Noel has taken on the role of allomother, carrying the baby about 50 per cent of the time,” Ms Marshall said.

“This gives mum a break to eat and rest, but as soon as the baby whimpers she races straight back over to him.”

Francois’ Langurs are now among the world’s rarest monkeys because of habitat loss and poaching for traditional medicines.

There are currently about 2000 of the monkeys in the world, with concentrated populations in northern Vietnam and south-west China.

Nangua's curiosity gets the better of him. Photo: ABC
Nangua’s curiosity gets the better of him. Photo: Taronga Zoo

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