Monday, May 17, 2010

Baby Monkey Dies At Taronga Zoo

baby monkeyThe three-week-old monkey Gan Ju died at Taronga Zoo today.

The endangered Francois Langur leaf-eating monkey was found dead by keepers, who said he wasn’t receiving enough milk from his mother, Saigon.

The bub was born on April 22 to Saigon and father Hanoi and was named Gan Ju, meaning orange in Mandarin.

Gan Ju was the zoo’s second infant, after Saigon gave birth to Elke in 2009, who had to be hand-raised by keepers.

``When we stepped in as surrogate parents for her last infant we fed and cared for the baby in front of Saigon, in the hope it would help her with future newborns,’’ the zoo’s Asian primates supervisor Melissa Shipway.

The zoo’s senior veterinarian Larry Vogelnest said unfortunately life and death were part of the realities that zoo keepers and vets dealt with every day.

“A post mortem examination conducted this morning found he was quite underweight for his age and appeared not to have been receiving enough milk from his mother,” Dr Vogelnest said.

“Further tests are being conducted. Saigon is still a young and a relatively inexperienced mother, but she made good progress with the keepers’ hands-off approach, allowing her to further develop her mothering skills.

``We recently welcomed a male and female Francois Langur from Beijing which will join our breeding program for this critically endangered species.

``This female is an experienced mother and we hope that she helps Saigon learn the parenting skills she needs to successfully raise her offspring in the future.’’

Full story here.

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