After a Francois’ langur monkey named Mei Mei gave birth to her baby at a Pennsylvania zoo, staff noticed she wasn’t taking care of him.
Veterinary staff at the Philadelphia Zoo responding by taking the bright orange newborn to an onsite animal care hospital, according to a Sept. 20 Facebook post. The staff also made a plan for eventually reintroducing Mei Mei to her child.
They were able to do just that, and after a few days of bonding, the mom and her baby “are doing great,” according to the zoo.
The baby, born Aug. 30, has since been named Ông Cụ, which means “very old man” in Vietnamese and “is used when a boy is speaking wisely beyond his years,” the zoo said.
Fortunately, Ông Cụ is not only bonding with his mom, but his other family members — including dad, Chester; aunt, Ling; and sisters, Quy Bau and Lei — are “obsessed with him.”
Ông Cụ, like other Francois’ langurs, was born with bright orange fur, as seen in a video shared by the zoo. But as he ages, his fur will turn black like his moms.
“In Francois langur families, all females in the group take turns caring for infants,” the zoo said. “That’s one of the reasons scientists believe the babies are born with bright orange fur, making it easier to see who has the baby!”
Francois’ langurs are native to China and Vietnam, but the endangered species population is threatened by hunting and habitat loss, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
This makes Ông Cụ’s birth “a huge conservation win,” the zoo said.
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