This heartbreaking footage shows endangered Golden-bellied mangabey monkeys paying their last respects to a dead troop member.
Zenger News obtained the poignant clip from Royal Burgers’ Zoo in Arnhem, the Netherlands.
The zoo said on Thursday, April 21st: “Just as would be the case in nature, the Golden-bellied mangabeys in our park also say goodbye to a deceased group member. Each animal does this in its own way and takes the time to do it.”
Bas Lukkenaar, PR and communications chief at the zoo, told Zenger News: “The monkey in the video is a Golden-bellied mangabey. The deceased mangabey is a female, 22 years old. She died of old age.
“Three Golden-bellied mangabeys are left in Royal Burgers’ Zoo now: an adult male, a young male and an adult female.
“In the video, we see how all of the group members say farewell to their deceased group member.
“This is why the zookeepers gave the monkeys all the time they needed to pay their respects to their fellow monkey.
“The adult male caresses the deceased female and protects her, even after her death. Golden-bellied mangabeys are intelligent primates, which live in social groups.”
The golden-bellied mangabey (Cercocebus chrysogaster) is endemic to the region south of the Congo River, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Because the species has been so little studied, its geographic range limits are uncertain.
Golden-bellied mangabeys have an average head-to-body length of 65 centimeters (26 inches), with males weighing up to 14 kilograms (31 lbs) and females up to eight kilograms (18 lbs).
Their tails, which help them to balance, are longer than their bodies.
The species is believed to live for 25 to 27 years in the wild, based on its likely similarity to the collared mangabey (Cercocebus torquatus).
It gets its name for the orange fur covering its belly, with the remainder of its pelage colored dark brown to black and accented by golden or orange specks.
The monkeys are further distinguished by their white eyelids.
The golden-bellied mangabey is classified by the International Union for Conservation of Nature as an endangered species, meaning it is very likely to become extinct in its known native range in the near future.
At 45 hectares (111 acres), the Royal Burgers’ Zoo is one of the biggest zoos in the Netherlands. Founded by Johan Burgers in 1913, it receives about 1.5 million visitors annually.
It boasts over 10,000 animals and more than 500 species.
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