Lion-tailed macaques born in Blijdorp

The lion-tailed macaque is an extremely endangered monkey from West India. It is estimated that around two thousand animals remain in the wild and another two hundred in European zoos.
The European breeding program of the lion-tailed macaque (Macaca silenus) is co-ordinated by the zoo of Cologne. Blijdorp has its own group since 2005. At the end of August, shortly after one another, two baby lion-tailed macaques were born.

The lion-tailed macaque is an average sized monkey. An adult is between 45 and 60 centimeters long. The tail, which has a plume at the end, is 25 to 40 centimeters long. Females weigh around six kilo’s, males around nine kilo’s.

The fur of the animals is grayish black and has long grey side-beards. The side-beards form a grey ring around the face. This has given the animals the nickname bearded monkey.
Its natural habitat is formed by the dense rain forests that grow on the mountain slopes of South West India. The monkeys can be found at altitudes of hundred to eighteen hundred meters. The lion-tailed monkeys live mainly in the tree tops and rarely come down. It is here where find their feed, fruit and insects. Lion-tailed macaques live in groups of ten to twenty individuals.
The lion-tailed macaque is the most highly endangered kind of macaque. Populations are shattered due to agriculture, mining and logging. Inbreeding is an important threat to the survival of the species. The animals are also being hunted.