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Grizzled by name... Howletts welcomes monkey

Baby Asmara clings to mum at Howletts. Picture: Dave Rolfe

Baby Asmara clings to mum at Howletts. Picture: Dave Rolfe

This heart-breakingly cute newcomer to Howletts Wild Animal Park certainly doesn’t live up to its name.

Asmara, the grizzled leaf monkey,  was born on Valentine’s Day to proud and doting mum Juleha. The baby is the 20th successful grizzled leaf monkey to be born at the park near Canterbury.

Mum watches over baby Asmara at HowlettsHowletts has the only group of grizzled leaf monkeys in captivity. They are native to the island of Java where they have become endangered through rainforest destruction.

Head primate keeper, Matt Ford said: “We are delighted with this new arrival and mum and baby are doing very well. The birth provides hope for the survival of these endangered primates in captivity.

“Deforestation has resulted in habitat loss for the grizzled leaf monkey, only four per cent of their original forest habitat remains on Java.”

The Aspinall Foundation, which works in conjunction with Howletts and Port Lympne Wild Animal Parks, officially launched its latest conservation project in Java at the end of last year and is designed to protect endangered primates in this region.

Matt added: “The conservation project in Java has just launched and already several endangered indigenous primates have been rescued from illegal ownership and are recuperating in our rehabilitation centre.

"The aim is to eventually release them back to protected areas in the wild where they can live and breed without threat.”

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