The L'Hoest's monkey is one of the least common monkeys in zoological gardens in the world. Only 14 zoos have it in their collection. At the same time, it is an endangered species, and its status in the natural environment is unknown.
The ongoing military conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (over 20 years already), prevents accurate estimation of the population size. In this situation, conservation breeding in zoological gardens becomes a necessity for the survival of the species. Zoo Wrocław plays an important role in the conservation efforts –the newest baby of the L'Hoest's monkey is already the eleventh birth of its species at our zoo.
-It is believed that the L'Hoest's monkey Red List status VU ( vulnerable) is not accurate anymore, and the population may be actually close to extinction. Even if the conflict in Congo is over, it hard to say what we will find there. Hence, breeding programs in zoos. They ensure a safe population, which will hopefully make possible the reintroduction of the species to the natural environment in the future - says Anna Mękarska, specialist in the conservation of species from the zoo in Wrocław.
The L'Hoest's monkey family group at Zoo Wrocław is maintained at the level of 8 - 10 individuals to prevent inbreeding and overcrowding. Over the years we’ve successfully raised 10 offspring, mostly females. The youngest addition to the family came to the world on Christmas Day - December 25, 2018. The mother is Hermione, and the father is the dominant male - Heos. The sex of the toddler is still unknown, but the caregivers suspect it to be a female again.
- Although the L'Hoest's monkey come from Africa, they do very well here, even in winter. In nature, they live in the Mountains of the Moon, where the peaks exceeds even 5.000 m above sea level and are often covered in snow. It is not surprising then, they willingly go outside to play snowballs when they have a chance - adds Karolina Przyjemska-Kowalewska.
It is totally worth your while to visit Zoo Wrocław to observe these extraordinary monkeys. They live in a very close-knit troop, building strong bonds through mutual grooming, and they always stick together.