Knoxville, Tenn. – Staff caring for the family of newly arrived langurs at Zoo Knoxville discovered a Christmas surprise when they arrived at work on December 21; a bright orange newborn.
The family of silvered leaf langurs, made up of male Walter, female Teagan and Teagan’s adolescent daughter Melody, had arrived in Knoxville on December 14 from the Santa Ana Zoo in California. New mother Teagan had shown no signs of pregnancy or labor leading up to the birth. The bright orange infant is healthy and nursing and being closely monitored by their caretakers. Langur babies will keep their striking coloring for three to six months, then begin to transition to darker fur like the other members of their group. It has not been determined if the yet-to-be-named infant is a boy or a girl.
Walter, Teagan and Melody came to Zoo Knoxville on the recommendation of the Silvered Leaf Langur Species Survival Plan, (SSP), which manages the breeding and social placement of the species in zoo’s accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) nationally. Zoo Knoxville is one of only five zoos in the country to work with this species, which is threatened in their native range in Borneo and Sumatra, and the southwestern Malay peninsula. Their habitat is being destroyed by logging and the development of palm oil plantations. The species is also threatened by hunting and by capture for the pet trade.
The newly arrived langurs will be the first residents of Zoo Knoxville’s Langur Landing, which will be opening in conjunction with the new Gibbon Trails habitats in the Boyd Family Asian Trek in March. While they will not be on public view until the grand opening in March, annual passholders and Circle of Friends members will be given the opportunity to see them in a special preview before this area opens to the public. More details at zooknoxville.org.
Zoo Knoxville is a nonprofit entity situated on 53 wooded acres just east of downtown Knoxville. Zoo Knoxville features exhibits of wild animals in natural habitats and is world renowned for its efforts in conservation and species survival. Zoo Knoxville is nationally accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and is committed to the highest standards in animal care and well-being, ethics, conservation, and education. Knoxville’s largest attraction, the zoo is open every day except Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Currently, the zoo is open from 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. daily. Admission and ticket sales stop one-hour before the zoo closes. For more information visit zooknoxville.org.