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Bright orange endangered primate baby born at UK zoo

An endangered species of primate has been born at a zoo in Leicestershire.

Keepers at a Twycross Zoo have welcomed the birth of a Francois’ langur – a species native to China and Vietnam.

One of the first to see the little monkey was Kelly Salisbury, a primate keeper at the zoo, who said the team were “incredibly excited”.

Ms Salisbury said: “With their bright orange fur, baby Francois’ langurs are instantly recognisable and will be super easy for visitors to spot on their next visit.

“With the Easter holidays in full swing, there’s no better time for guests to come and meet our new baby Francois’ langur and learn more about this fascinating species.”

The primate is listed as endangered according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List, which names the world’s most endangered species.

Undated handout photo issued by Twycross Zoo of a baby Francois langur, an endangered species of primate, born at the zoo in Leicestershire, leaving keepers "absolutely delighted" by the baby's arrival. Issue date: Saturday March 30, 2024.
Image: The infant is being cared for by its 17-year-old mother, the rest of the troop and the zoo’s primate experts. Pic: PA

Just 2,000 are believed to still be in the wild, with habitat deforestation one of the main issues threatening them.

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Dr Rebecca Biddle, director of conservation at Twycross Zoo, said: “We’re absolutely delighted to announce the birth of a Francois’ langur at Twycross Zoo.

“It’s always a special occasion when we welcome a new animal to the zoo but this birth is an especially important one because of how endangered the species is.”

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Dr Biddle added: “As a conservation charity, our primary purpose is to preserve and protect the species with whom we share our planet.

“The addition of a newborn Francois’ langur is fantastic news.

“Unfortunately, wild populations of Francois’ langurs continue to decline, so this new arrival is a welcome addition to the troop and is a sign of hope for ongoing efforts to preserve this species.”

Undated handout photo issued by Twycross Zoo of a baby Francois langur, an endangered species of primate, born at the zoo in Leicestershire, leaving keepers "absolutely delighted" by the baby's arrival. Issue date: Saturday March 30, 2024.
Image: The primate is native to China and north Vietnam. Pic: PA
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The baby is being looked after by its 17-year-old mother, the rest of the troop and the zoo’s primate experts.

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