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Last Updated: Thursday, 7 April 2005, 06:27 GMT 07:27 UK
Zoo celebrates rare monkey birth
Newborns are bright orange but their coats turn black
Newborns are bright orange but their coats turn black
Staff at Belfast Zoo are celebrating the birth of a rare Asian monkey.

The François' langur is an endangered species and it is only the third baby to be born in UK zoos in the last six months.

The leaf eating monkeys are found in Vietnam and southern China and it is thought less than 2,500 remain in the wild.

The baby's mother, called Chi, was also born at Belfast Zoo and is one of 11 François' langurs there.

It is her first baby and staff said both monkeys were doing well.

Acting manager Mark Challis said Belfast Zoo was establishing an excellent reputation for the breeding of leaf eating monkeys.

"This group is doing particularly well and we will expect to transfer some of the langurs bred at the zoo to other zoos around the UK," he said.

"Staff at the zoo feel a great sense of achievement and are very proud of the zoo's latest success.

"The baby is easily spotted due to his ginger colouring which contrasts its mother's black colour, so if you visit the zoo you'll be sure to see it."

The zoo currently participates in a breeding programme to try to ensure the survival of the François' langur species, he said.

Newborns are bright orange but their coats gradually change to black.

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