Primate keepers at Howletts Wild Animal Park near Canterbury have welcomed a very special new arrival to their family of Grizzled Leaf Monkeys. The baby was born on February 14 to mom Juleha and has been named Asmara by her doting keepers. Asmara's birth makes her the twentieth baby to join the family at Howletts - home to the only group of Grizzled Leaf monkeys in human care outside their native land of Java.
Head Primate Keeper Matt Ford said, "We are delighted with this new arrival; Mum and baby are doing very well. This new birth provides hope for the survival of these endangered primates in captivity."
Grizzled Leaf monkeys are native to Java and live in primary and secondary rainforest, although drastic deforestation in the area has lead to destruction of their habitat, forcing them to live in forest fragments at higher altitude. Matt added "Deforestation has resulted in habitat loss for the Grizzled Leaf Monkey – only 4% of their original forest habitat remains on the island of Java."
Read more about the Aspinall Foundation's work with the grizzled green leaf monkey after the jump.
Regarding that Matt said, "The conservation project in Java has just launched and already several endangered indigenous primates have been rescued from illegal ownership and are recuperating in our rehabilitation centre. The aim is to eventually release them back to protected areas in the wild where they can live and breed without threat."