François langurs are Old World monkeys, a term which describes monkeys from Africa and Asia. These primates sleep in the trees but sleep in caves and crevices.
These distinctive primates have black fur with white streaks of hair running from their mouths to their ears. They also have a tuft of hair on top of their head. However, infants are born with orange fur which gradually changes to adult colouration as they mature.
Belfast Zoo’s François langurs can be found in the monkey house, where they share their home with a number of other unusual primate species. The studbook for this primate species is held at Belfast Zoo and managed by zoo curator, Andrew Hope.
In March 2016 Xiwang (meaning ‘hope’ in Chinese), was born to parents AJ and Nicolene and in November 2017, mum, Nicoleen and dad, AJ celebrated the birth of Huaidan, which means ‘rascal’ in Chinese, thanks to his cheeky temperament.
Diet - Herbivore
François langurs have special chambered stomachs to help them digest tough leaves. They also eat fruit and flowers.
The body length can be up to 70 centimetres (cm) and the tail can measure up to 90cm. Langurs can weigh up to eight kilograms.
François langurs live in tropical forests and sheltered limestone hills in China, Vietnam and Laos.
François langurs are listed under Appendix II of CITES. It is believed that they are in danger of extinction in the wild.
Logging and the expansion of agriculture has destroyed the habitat of the François langur. They are also captured and sold as pets or used in traditional medicines.
François langurs are widespread but their populations are isolated. In Vietnam, there are less than 500 langurs. In 2003, there were estimated to be 1,400 to 1,650 langurs in China.
François langurs are managed by a European studbook. Andrew Hope, one of Belfast Zoo’s curators holds the studbook for this rare monkey. There are around 116 Francois langurs living in zoos around the world.