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Red-shanked Douc Langurs
"These are red-shanked douc langurs (duke LANG-grrr-s), monkeys from Vietnam,
Laos and Cambodia. You'll noticed that the males are much larger than the
females, and have big bellies that look like they're pregnant. This large gut
holds a multi-chambered stomach, which helps them digest leaves, their main
food source. While they eat a variety of tree leaves, small, tender leaflets
seem to be their favorite. They also eat fruits, flowers and seeds.
Douc langurs are endangered for three reasons: over 60% of the forests in
Vietnam are gone, destroyed by logging, farming, and the Vietnam War. These
monkeys are hunted for the food, and are considered a delicacy all over
Southeast Asia. In addition, some traditional Oriental medicines include douc
langur body parts.
Red-shanked, or Northern, douc langurs (Pygathrix nemaeus) have been living
and breeding successfully at the San Diego Zoo since 1968. This is the only
type of douc langur found in zoos outside of Southeast Asia. To see them at
the San Diego Zoo, visit the Sun Bear Forest. The black-shanked, or Southern,
douc langurs (pygathrix nigripes) spend their lives in the trees like all douc
langurs. This species is rare in captivity in Vietnam and very little is
known about their behavior. The grey-shanked douc langur (Pygathrix cinereus)
wasn't known to Western science until 1996, when it was noticed that two
rescued animals at the EPCC had different coloring and markings. DNA analsys
showed them to be a completely different species!"
For more information on the San Diego Zoo's conservation work world wide,
visit their website at: http://www.sandiegozoo.org If you're ever in San
Diego, give these cute guys a visit.