Thursday, June 16, 2011

New Monkey Species For Apenheul Primate Park

Photo courteousy Apenheul Primate Park

Unique outside of Asia
A First for Apenheul Primate Park

In late July Apenheul is expecting three new residents. Arriving from the Singapore Zoo will be three male Proboscis Monkeys Nasalis larvatus. This species is found only in Borneo and currently can only be seen in a few Asian zoos. It is an honor that these animals come to Apenheul offering visitors a unique opportunity study these spectacular and interesting animals.

The appearance of the Proboscis Monkey is quite striking especially so in the males with their large noses and huge pot bellies. The Indonesian name for this species is "Orang Belanda" which translates to ''The Dutchman'....and these are the only 'Dutchmen' in a zoo in the Netherlands, or anywhere else outside of Asia.
These three animals are captive born and form a bachelor group. The Singapore zoo had been looking for a partner to a zoo program for the conservation of this species and to establish holders in reputable collections further afield.

This is something of a coup for the monkey park, which this year celebrates its fortieth anniversary. The collection had been looking for a new species for which it could dedicate its experience and knowledge.
The species is something of a challenge. It is a sensitive monkey to care for. Proboscis monkeys require a specific menu, with lots of fresh leaves of non-hardy trees. This will mean the picking and freezing of leaves to supply food during the winter months. Moreover, the Proboscis is a gourmet, they eat only the best. Some of the Apenheul Keepers are already in Singapore learning about the husbandry and care.
The situation of monkeys which can only be found in the wild on Borneo is far from good. The wild population has dropped by over 50% during the last 40 years. This is mainly due to habitat loss. In zoos they are only in Asia.

There is currently no breeding programme for these animals in the zoos. Apenheul will take the lead in setting up such a programme for the species. The Monkey Park along with Singapore Zoo will look towards setting up a conservation project in an area where monkeys occur.
Translated from Dutch to English via Google Translate with a little bit of tweaking from me.


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