On Wednesday July 11, 2014, and only two days before of the Dutch Orange team performed the kickoff for the World Cup in Brazil, an orange Dusky leave monkey was born in Royal Burgers' Zoo. The newborn drinks the way it should and clings on to its mother excellently. The Arnhem Zoo is responsible for the studbook of this species for entire Europe. It is a very difficult monkey to keep because of its specific diet and its particular digestive system. Besides Arnhem’s Burgers’ Zoo there are only 5 other zoos in Europe that keep this monkey. In the Netherlands it is only Burgers’ Zoo in Arnhem where this species can be seen.
Orange signal colour
When born the young is brightly orange coloured. Within a month the pelage starts to darken, and at the age of six months it has changed colours completely. At the same time the baby’s appeal to the not related females diminishes.
A special digestive system
In the wild a dusky leaf monkey eats about 2 kilos per day - of which 60% are (young and ripe) leaves, plus (mainly unripe) fruit, blossoms and nectar. In zoos langurs are more difficult to feed than other species of monkeys because of their diet. This diet needs to be high – fibred and almost sugar free. Too much sweet fruit would disturb their stomach fauna. In addition to special dry monkey food the Dusky leaf monkeys in Burges’ Zoo also get vegetables and fresh leaves to eat, and once in a while some goodies from our tropical rainforest hall Burgers’ Bush during the winter.
Mother and baby are clearly visible for visitors – this picture was taken from the visitors’ stand!