Zoo Chat

Stand Out in a Crowd: Didi was born with distinctive bright orange hair, a stark contrast to his parents’ black colouring.

Stand Out in a Crowd: Didi was born with distinctive bright orange hair, a stark contrast to his parents’ black colouring.

Taronga Zoo Sydney is celebrating the breeding success of a bright orange male Francois’ Langur, one of the world’s rarest monkeys.

Born April 30, the tiny infant has been named Didi, meaning little brother in Chinese, which represents his Southeast Asian heritage.

Like all young Francois Langurs, Didi was born with distinctive bright orange hair, a stark contrast to his parents’ black colouring. It’s believed the colour distinction makes it easier for adults to identify and look after infants.

Senior Primate Keeper, Jane Marshall, said: “Didi is doing really well. He is starting to become independent and wander away from mum Noel to climb on his own.”

“He is a stunning golden colour at the moment, but we’re already starting to see the hair growing dark on his body. He is particularly interested in his older sister, Embe who is one year old which is fitting to his name.”

Mum, Noel is a very good mother and at times over protective but she is starting to relax. Langurs allomother, which means all females will help to take care of little Didi.

This helps mum cope and gives other females the opportunity to learn the skills they need to become a mother, so it is important he is given the opportunity to be cared for by other females.

Father Bobo is giving the infant and Noel plenty of space which is what Keepers would like to see at this stage.

Francois’ Langurs are a critically endangered species found in China and Vietnam and have been heavily poached for traditional medicines.

“With only around 3,000 individuals left in the wild these animals are in trouble. The birth of this female at Taronga is great news for the species.”

“Not a lot of people know about Francois Langurs as a species, the animals we have here are important ambassadors who help shine a light on the situation in the wild,” said Jane. 

For more information about your next wild adventure visit taronga.org.au/taronga-western-plains-zoo. Whether you fancy getting up close to a big cat or learning why Hippos are such good swimmers, expect a wild experience.