Monkeys Work Together to Raise New Baby at SD Zoo

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San Diego Zoo

A troop of Francois’ langurs at the San Diego Zoo bring new meaning to "it takes a village to raise a child."

The langurs, also known as Francois’ leaf monkeys, are spending this week introducing a new, 8-day-old baby to their bamboo and gourd-filled habitat.

Distinctive for its head of bright orange hair, the little langur has been passed around among the older ones. Zoo keepers say the monkeys practice alloparenting, so every family member helps to raise the little guy.

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Scientists believe the infants’ colorful head of hair help the troop identify and look after them.

In the first six months, the baby’s fur will fade to black. Soon, it’ll look more like the other langurs, who are reminiscent to a 19th century emperor with bright white mutton chops.

San Diego Zoo officials say they were the first in North America to house Francois’ langurs, and their breeding efforts helped found the monkeys’ population in zoos across the country.

Visitors can see five langurs now live in the Asian Passage of the zoo because the species is native to Asian tropical forests.

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