Image: © Mark Johnson 

Bright Orange Baby Monkey is Born at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo


Cale Russell


September 5, 2023 12:48 am


Whipsnade, England, The United Kingdom

ZSL Whipsnade Zoo have celebrated the birth of a male Francois langur infant. Zookeepers are celebrating the birth of the bright orange infant as part of the European breeding programme for the Endangered species.  

The new arrival was welcomed in to the world during the early hours of August 6th 2023 to parents Lee Lee and Wang. At birth the infant weighed a mere 450g. It remained tight against mom's chest for the first few weeks but has recently become more inquisitive allowing zookeepers to snap these amazing images.

“We knew that Lee Lee was pregnant and have been caring for her while patiently waiting for the birth for six months,” said Hayley. “We are over the moon that he is here - growing stronger and more confident by the day - and that visitors can now see him and be inspired to learn more about this Endangered species.  

In keeping with the bright orange fur keepers have decided on the name, Citrus as a nickname for the new arrival. Once they have got to know his personality they will decide on a permanent title. Its bright orange fur allows members of the troop to easily spot the new arrival.

“While his distinct fur will help visitors to spot Citrus, over the next few months his bright locks will start fading to black. In the meantime, Lee Lee is being the perfect mother, supported by the other females in the troop.” 

Hayley explained raising the four-week-old was a joint effort involving the whole troop.  

“Francois langurs live in a matriarchal society. Whipsnade Zoo is home to one male langur, Wang, and three females who are essentially the bosses. Visitors will be able to see aunties Nguygen and Lulu helping to care for the youngster, grooming and carrying him around their wooded home.” 

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) list this species as endangered within their native range of China and Vietnam.

Hayley said. “Citrus is an important addition to the global breeding programme for this Endangered species. Known for their inquisitive expressions and white, prominent ‘sideburns’, it’s vital that we protect these incredible animals.”  

“Conservationists estimate there are only 2,000 of these incredible primates left in the wild as a result of illegal hunting for their meat and for traditional medicinal purposes. Caring for a back-up population in zoos is vital to protecting their future.” 

ZSL Whipsnade Zoo Francois Langur Infant

A Francois langur infant was born on August 6th 2023 at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo. The new arrival is part of a breeding program for its critically endangered species. Image: © Mark Johnson 

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François' langur

More on the Francois Langur!

Learn more about the Francois langur with our fact file on this social primate from Asia.

About the Author

Cale Russell

Cale has operated The Animal Facts since 2012. During this time he has volunteered and worked across a range of Australian Wildlife Parks something he continues to today. He holds a certificate in Animal Care and Husbandry.

Our Favourite Francois Langur Fact!

Francois langurs are known by a range of other names including the capped leaf monkey, Tonkin leaf monkey, brown-ridge langur or black leaf monkey.

Image: © Mark Johnson 

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