A rare orange monkey was born at Australia’s Taronga Zoo, according to a Nov. 26, 2015 news release. The monkey, a Francois’ Langur, is one of the world’s rarest and is an endangered species. Experts say they believe approximately 800 Francois’ Langurs remain in the wild, according to a report by the Guardian. The monkey was born on Nov. 7 2015, and was discovered when zoo keepers saw his mother, Meili, holding the newborn primate. Named Nangua, which means “Pumpkin” in Mandarin, the monkey is healthy and is Meili’s second infant. Tam Doa, Nangua’s older brother, was born in 2011. Nangua is the first infant born to Bobo, a male Francois’ Langur who arrived at the Taronga Zoo from the Bejing Zoo in 2010.
America’s San Diego Zoo is also home to the Francois’ Langur, and the site provides a brief look at the rare monkey’s characteristics on their kid’s page. The Francoi’s Langur is native to parts of Laos, China and Viet Nam. Conservation efforts were enacted in the 21st century after studies determined their numbers in the wild had significantly declined. This has been attributed to destruction of the monkey’s natural habitat as well as hunting. Francois’ Langurs are prized in various Asian markets as they are believed to hold medicinal value; therefore they are targeted by hunters.
Newborn Francois’ Langurs are distinguished by their bright, orange fur. It is believed this color pattern helps mothers easily locate their infants. The coloring begins to fade between 3 and 6 months of age and the fur darkens. Fully grown adults measure between 18 ½” to 25” long. Adults weigh between 12 ½ to 20 pounds. Francois’ Langurs eat a diet rich of fruits, leaves, flowers and insects.
Francois’ Langurs share mothering roles and utilize a method referred to as “allomothering.” Nangua’s care falls to his mother Meili and an “aunt” named Noel. Zookeeper Jane Marshall described the sharing of parental duties between Meili and Noel.
“Noel has taken on the role of allomother, carrying the baby about 50 percent of the time. This gives mum a break to eat and rest, but as soon as the baby whimpers she races straight back over to him.”
Marshall continued and described Nanuga’s father’s role in carrying for the infant.
“Bobo is a little bit overwhelmed, but he’s doing really well. He’s protective of Meili and he’ll even let the baby climb onto him. I saw the baby climb up over his head the other day and he wasn’t worried at all.”
While some people choose to keep monkeys as exotic pets, the Francois’ Langur is not a suitable pet due to its endangered status.
The Taronga Zoo shared photos and videos of Nanuga on their social media networks including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. Judging by the public’s response, Nanuga, the bright, orange monkey, is already a social hit.
Check out the slideshow of Nanuga and don’t miss the video showing Nanuga, Meili and Noel above.