Animal lovers in Hong Kong had something to cheer on Tuesday as the city welcomed its first ever newborn golden snub-nosed monkey.
And a mainland zoo boss highlighted the importance of breeding for the species, mainly found in Sichuan province and nearby, which is listed as endangered.
Ocean Park announced on Tuesday that the baby monkey was born on Monday.
The park said the newborn was in a stable condition and nursing well.
The new arrival is the offspring of male Qi Qi and female Le Le, who arrived at Ocean Park from Chengdu Zoo in 2015 and 2012 respectively.
Suzanne Gendron, executive director of zoological operations and education at the park, said: “Based on our observations, Le Le is doing a great job as a first-time mother and the baby is learning to suckle very well.”
Gendron said that Le Le’s pregnancy and labour went smoothly.
To give Le Le and the baby time to bond and establish a nursing routine, their exhibit will be closed on Tuesday and partially closed for two to three days after that, depending on the animals’ condition.
Yu Jianqiu, assistant director of Chengdu Zoo, said: “It is heartening to witness such a great result, considering Qi Qi just left Chengdu Zoo for Ocean Park less than two years ago and it is the park’s first time to facilitate the breeding of this species.”
The director added: “Sichuan golden snub-nosed monkeys are listed as an endangered species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species and there are currently about 15,000 Sichuan golden snub-nosed monkeys left in the wild throughout the species’ range of west-central China.
“Every effort in breeding the species in a well-managed facility like Ocean Park will be helpful in developing a population that is genetically diverse and healthy, thereby contributing to the conservation of the species.”