Zookeepers at Whipsnade Zoo are "over the moon" after an endangered species of monkey gave birth at the facility.

The François' langur baby arrived in the early hours of Sunday, August 6, to parents Lee Lee and Wang.

The male weighed just over 450g and has remained mostly hidden since birth, clinging to his mother's belly.

The Comet: Citrus has spent much of his time with his mother so far.Citrus has spent much of his time with his mother so far. (Image: ZSL Whipsnade Zoo)

However, the animal has become more inquisitive this week, allowing the team at Whipsnade Zoo to take his picture for the first time.


He has been nicknamed 'Citrus', due to his brightly covered fur, but the team are waiting to see more of his personality before deciding on a permanent name.

Zookeeper Hayley Jakeman said: "We knew that Lee Lee was pregnant and have been caring for her while patiently waiting for the birth for six months.

The Comet: Over the past week, Citrus has become more adventurous.Over the past week, Citrus has become more adventurous. (Image: ZSL Whipsnade Zoo)

“We are over the moon that he is here - growing stronger and more confident by the day - and that visitors can now see him and be inspired to learn more about this endangered species.

"While his distinct fur will help visitors to spot Citrus, over the next few months his bright locks will start fading to black.

"In the meantime, Lee Lee is being the perfect mother, supported by the other females in the troop.

“Francois langurs live in a matriarchal society.


Get more stories like this delivered to your inbox every week by signing up to The Comet In Brief newsletter.


"Whipsnade Zoo is home to one male langur, Wang, and three females who are essentially the bosses.

"Visitors will be able to see aunties Nguygen and Lulu helping to care for the youngster, grooming and carrying him around their wooded home.” 

The Comet: Citrus' fur will eventually become darker.Citrus' fur will eventually become darker. (Image: ZSL Whipsnade Zoo)

Speaking of the importance of Citrus' birth, Hayley added: “Citrus is an important addition to the global breeding programme for this Endangered species.

"Known for their inquisitive expressions and white, prominent ‘sideburns’, it’s vital that we protect these incredible animals.

“Conservationists estimate there are only 2,000 of these incredible primates left in the wild as a result of illegal hunting for their meat and for traditional medicinal purposes.

"Caring for a back-up population in zoos is vital to protecting their future.”