Orange is the newest black at Lincoln Park Zoo: a bright orange, endangered Francois’ langur was born February 6 at the Helen Brach Primate House.
The infant is the seventh successful offspring for the zoo’s breeding pair, female Pumpkin and male Cartman. Lincoln Park Zoo participates in the Francois’ Langur Species Survival Plan ® (SSP), which cooperatively manages the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) accredited-zoo population. Lead Keeper Bonnie Jacobs serves as Vice-Chair of the Francois’ Langur SSP and has been managing the studbook for this population in the AZA for the past 15 years. The sex and measurements of the infant are yet to be determined as the newborn is clinging tight to mom.
“Pumpkin is an experienced and attentive mother and the entire troop is being supportive,” says Curator of Primates Maureen Leahy. “We recently updated the langur exhibit to include more dynamic elements such as vines, sway poles and pulley feeders, so it will be exciting to see the newest addition of the troop grow more independent and explore the habitat.”
Francois’ langurs are endangered in the wild due to habitat degradation and hunting. They’re native to the southern Guangxi province of China, northern Vietnam and west-central Laos.
Adults display black body coloration with a white marking from ear to ear and a black crest atop the head. Infants are born with a bright orange hue, which scientists believe encourages alloparenting, or “aunting” behavior, among females in the group. Infants’ fur turns black within the first three to six months of life.
With its parents, the langur infant joins sisters Kieu and Orla, brothers Vinh and Pierre, and adult female Chi on exhibit at Helen Brach Primate House, open daily from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.