A group of researchers in the Republic of the Congo had discovered an adventure of a lifetime with the finding of a type of African monkey thought to be extinct: The Red Colobus Monkey. This particular species had not been seen in the wild after the 1970s. Now, they are sending back the first ever pictures of the Red Colobus monkey for the world to see.
The expedition travel into the Congo was financed by the Wildlife Conservation Society and crowd funding through Indiegogo. The search was led by Belgium scientist Lieven Devreese and Congo researcher Gael Elie Gnondo Gobolo, who have been searching for the rare monkey for several months.
Red Colobus Monkey Thought to Be Extinct Due to Hunting and Logging
The Red Colobus monkeys were thought to be extinct because of their decline from being hunted for bush meat, as well as their habitat being endangered by logging. They are said to be unafraid of people, so were easy prey when hunters travel into the area. These small monkeys live in family groups along the swampy forest areas in the jungle.
The Red Colobus Monkey is reddish brown with a white chin and black bands of fur from its eyes to temples, plus the eyes are surrounded by pink eye rings. Prior to this discovery of the Red Colobus monkey in the wild, those studying it had to rely on museum specimens that were more than 100-years old. According to the WCS, there is actually very little known about this variety of the Bouvier’s red colobus monkey, which is scientifically known as Piliocolobus bouvieri, so this new knowledge of it being alive, when it was thought to be extinct, is cause for celebration.
Rare Red Colobus Monkey Found Through Calls and Sightings By Natives
Researchers had to travel in dugout canoes to get to where the natives had heard the primates making noises and had described these calls to the scientists looking for the illusive monkey that was thought to be extinct. With the discovery of the rare monkeys, work must continue to protect it from poachers and other dangers. Luckily, for the newly discovered Red Colobus monkeys they were found living in an area of a national park that is protected from threats and things like logging, farming or building roads.
The newly formed Ntokou-Pikounda National Park was established in 2013, and is already home to many creatures, including gorillas, chimps, and elephants. And now, hopefully, this rare and exotic monkey species, once thought to be extinct, can continue to thrive and survive in the depths of the Congo.
In the spirit of the “extinct” red colombus monkey found in the Republic of Congo, check out this brief video on Kuala Lumpur Malaysia, where monkeys roam temples. Malaysia is also home to Borneo where the endangered Orangutans live: