A pair of Francois' langur monkeys born over the summer at the Los Angeles Zoo will make their public debut Thursday.
The monkeys -- both have the same father -- were born on June 23 to 8- year-old mother Vicki Vale and on July 12 to 5-year-old Kim-Ly. This is the first week the babies have joined their mothers and 19-year-old father Paak in the outdoor habitat, and they will soon be introduced to the rest of the group.
"We're very excited for guests to be able to observe this blended family in their new group dynamic," said Roxane Losey, animal keeper at the Los Angeles Zoo. "Once the two boys are a little older, they will join their brother Tao and things will probably get a little rough-and-tumble when they play. These monkeys are very acrobatic and like to jump and leap from branch to branch.''
Francois' langurs -- also known as Francois' leaf or Tonkin leaf monkeys or white side-burned black langurs -- are slender black creatures with long tails that can be found in southern China and northeastern Vietnam. They have a white stripe stretching from ear to ear, a pointy tuft of hair on the top of their head and a prominent brow.
The babies will spend some time being passed around to other adult female members of the group through a practice called alloparenting, which helps the group bond but can also lead to conflicts, Losey said.
"The whole family will have minor squabbles from time to time, but you will actually see them come to each other and make up, sometimes with a hug," she said. "You won't see a lot of monkeys with this hugging behavior, but Francois' langurs are a very gentle species."