A cub of a rare lion-tailed macaque was born in Moscow zoo


51882877_2272802462935520_1002945348324294656_o.jpgA pair of lion-tailed macaques (or Vanderu) became parents on January 31. Now their cub is almost month and a half months old, it is strong enough and continues to grow actively, becoming more and more curious and independent every day.

Lion-tailed macaques are one of the rarest primates: in nature, their number does not exceed several thousand individuals; they are listed in the International Red book in the category "vulnerable". Every year the population of the species is reduced due to deforestation, which is the natural habitat for the Vanderu. Also, poaching causes significant damage to the population of these unique monkeys: lion-tailed macaques are very popular on the black market because of their unusual and bright appearance and often fall into the hands of so-called collectors of exotic fauna.

In order to prevent the complete disappearance of the species, there was created the European program for the conservation of lion-tailed macaques in captivity, in which Moscow zoo has been actively involved for 20 years. Within the framework of the program, the primatologists form pairs of animals and create optimal conditions for their reproduction, the resulting offspring goes to the world’s leading zoos, and mature individuals also take part in the creation of a stable and genetically diverse population of lion-tailed macaques in captivity.

"The birth of a baby Vanderu is a very significant and joyful event for Moscow zoo, as well as for the world zoo community as a whole. Our specialists succeeded in creating comfortable, maximally safe conditions for their maintenance, so we get a healthy offspring quite regularly. In Russia, lion-tailed macaques are kept here, as well as in St. Petersburg and Yekaterinburg zoos," – Moscow zoo CEO Svetlana Akulova said.

Now born in late January cub spends most of the time closely pressed to his mother’s body. Occasionally she loosens him from herself, but the baby does not move more than a meter from the female and at any hint of danger hides in the thick fur on her chest. The cub's parents are a 13-year-old male Kai and an 11-year-old female Lyalya. In addition to them, there are five more members in the group of lion-tailed macaques, including the naughty baby Mulya, born at the end of 2017, as well as her older brother Marcel. So far, the members of the group stay away from the newborn cub, so as not to disturb his caring mother, and not to injure the baby accidentally. Mulya shows the greatest interest in the cub: she spends a lot of time near him and his mother, carefully watching the baby.

So far, the cub eats only mother's milk, but after a couple of months he will gradually begin to taste "adult food". The diet of its older relatives includes a variety of juicy fruits, vegetables, herbs, eggs and cottage cheese. Lion-tailed macaques are also given special vitamin supplements.

The guests of the zoo can watch the Vanderu group in the "House of monkeys", where they occupy a spacious enclosure not far from the Diana monkeys and weeper capuchins.