Jerusalem Biblical Zoo welcomes birth of rare Javan langur monkey

Javan langur numbers have been declining due to deforestation and exotic animal hunting and trafficking.

Saffron (L) and Liz care for the newly born baby Javan langur monkey at the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo. (photo credit: AVINOAM ZISSO/THE JERUSALEM BIBLICAL ZOO)
Saffron (L) and Liz care for the newly born baby Javan langur monkey at the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo.
(photo credit: AVINOAM ZISSO/THE JERUSALEM BIBLICAL ZOO)
The Jerusalem Biblical Zoo welcomed the birth of a baby Javan langur monkey this week, the zoo announced.
The rare species of Old World monkey is famous for its bright orange coat of hair over its body. while these monkeys typically lose this color as they grow up in favor of a black coat of hair, some still retain this defining feature. The bright color serves an evolutionary feature, as it insures adult females will easily notice the baby and protect them, as noted in the University of Oxford's New Encyclopedia of Mammals. This is reflective of the tendency for adult females to look after the children of other langurs in their group.
The baby monkey's gender is still unknown, but is being raised by its mother, the black-haired Liz, and "aunt," the golden-haired Saffron.
 
Javan langurs are originally native to Indonesia, but their numbers have been in decline over the years due to in part to deforestation and the illegal hunting and trafficking of exotic animals. 
As such, the population of the langurs in zoos is especially important. 
"Because they are threatened, there are a number of international efforts to establish a 'backup population,'" Biblical Zoo zoologist Dr. Noam Werner explained in a statement.
He explained that in order to act as a viable backup population, it is essential that the population be at a certain size with genetic diversity. This effort requires a massive amount of cooperation between zoos all over the world.
One other effort to do this was launched by the UK charity group the Aspinall Foundation and the French zoological park ZooParc de Beauval's conservation arm Beauval Nature. This will see a population introduced carefully into a protected area on the east of the island of Java known as the Pusubgrawung forest, as detailed on the organization's website.
According to the Aspinall Foundation, they have successfully reintroduced over 100 langurs into the wild so far.
However, it is unsurprising that the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo is involved in creating a backup population, as the zoo has a reputation for helping breed endangered species.
Back in May, the zoo became the first in the world to successfully breed Asiatic lions in captivity.