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Success for Ocean Park’s Breeding Programme as it Announces Birth of Rare Golden Snub-nosed Monkey in Hong Kong

2019-03-31

Ocean Park announces the second-ever birth of a golden snub-nosed monkey in Hong Kong on 29 March. Both the baby and mum are in stable condition. The baby is an offspring of male golden monkey Qi Qi and female Le Le who arrived at Ocean Park from Chengdu Zoo in 2015 and 2012 respectively. This birth reflects the huge success of Ocean Park’s Zoological Operations and Conservation team for once again helping breed this rare species of monkey. To allow the newborn baby and mother time to bond, The Hong Kong Jockey Club Sichuan Treasures will be partially closed today.

To celebrate this precious moment, Ocean Park is inviting the public to help name the newborn golden snub-nosed monkey. The baby’s gender and naming details will be announced on the Park’s official Facebook fan page shortly. 

“I am delighted that we have been able to successfully breed a second golden snub-nosed monkey in Hong Kong, after the first birth in 2017. Given how rare the species is, this is particularly exciting news for us,” said Michael Boos, Executive Director of Zoological Operations and Conservation, Ocean Park. “This second birth is testament to the success of Ocean Park’s breeding programme and the world-class animal care that we provide here. I would also like to thank Chengdu Zoo for their continued support on the breeding programme including sending a golden snub-nosed monkey husbandry expert to Hong Kong to facilitate Le Le’s labour, as we both endeavour to develop a population that is genetically diverse and healthy, and will contribute to the conservation of the species.”

Sichuan golden snub-nosed monkeys are listed as an endangered species by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species. There are currently about 15,000 to 16,000 Sichuan golden snub-nosed monkeys left in the wild throughout the species’ range of West-Central China. With the newborn only just starting to suckle, its weaning period will be between 19 and 22 months, and it will likely cling to its mother until it is around two years old.

Meanwhile, as part of the breeding loan collaboration between Ocean Park and Chengdu Zoo, the newborn’s male sibling Lokie (the first golden snub-nosed monkey born in Hong Kong) will return to Chengdu Zoo on 10 April. The arrangement is made in consideration of the maturity of male golden snub-nosed monkeys.  Male monkeys can become combative and Lokie will develop more territorial behaviours after reaching two years old. The male offspring will often be expelled from their group by their father when growing up.

The Hong Kong Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department, and Forestry and Grassland Administration of Sichuan Province have been notified of the birth. Ocean Park will continue to update the public on the status of the golden monkey baby as information becomes available.