baby monkey at wichita zoo

Preservation & Primates: Javan Langur

Javan Langurs are not a common sight at zoos in the United States. In fact, Tanganyika is one of just a few zoos that have them. If you’ve been to the park lately, you’ve probably seen them and noticed how many young ones there are. We have welcomed five baby Javan Langurs within the past year! Fun fact: all five are females.

Ursula just turned one year old, followed by Sarana who is six months and Junebug who is nearly three months. On September 2, two more babies were born— so they are now about a month old.

(Photo 1: Ursula – 1 year, Photo 2: Sarana – 6 months, Photo 3: Junebug 3 months, Photo 4: Baby 1 – 1 month, Photo 5 (Baby 2- 1 month)

Our oldest Javan Langur is a male named Demerara at 18 years old.

Javan Langurs are listed as vulnerable on the IUCN Red List of Endangered Species as their population continues to decline due to urban expansion, agriculture, hunting and pet trade. They are an old-world monkey native to Africa and Asia. Interestingly, these monkeys share infant care responsibilities among females in a group (allomothering). This allows the babies to be given proper care and attention which maximizes their chance of survival. When you visit Tanganyika, you will be able to observe this practice as many of our females contribute to caring for the babies in their exhibit.

Another interesting thing to note while stopping at their exhibit, is the two different colors of their hair. Javan langurs can be an apricot-orange color or black. All the babies are born with the apricot-orange color, and some will stay like that. However, others will slowly turn black as they age.

Javan langurs are leaf-eaters, so unlike some of our other primates who like to enjoy a bite of fruit here and there, they cannot take up that habit. Instead, they love it when we treat them to sweet potatoes, garbanzo beans and any fresh browse. We give them bamboo and willow pretty frequently as well.

Make sure to stop by their exhibit on your next visit. They are extremely entertaining to watch and fascinating to learn about!

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