This species of red monkey was last spotted back in the 1970s and since then, because there were no signs of its existence, the scientists believed it had gone extinct. The monkey was photographed in March.
Until recently, the extremely rare monkey, called the Bouvier’s red colobus, was last seen in the wild in the 1970s.
This species of small monkeys lives in groups in the swampy forests near the Congo River, in the Republic of Congo.
Because of extensive logging and hunting, the population of this species of monkey was decimated, which made the scientists believe that the monkey no longer existed.
However, a team of primatologists has recently spotted the monkey up in a tree, looking curiously at the two men.
The team of primatologists consisted of Gaël Elie Gnondo Gobolo from the Republic of Congo and Lieven Devreese, a researcher from Belgium.
The two monkey experts began their expedition in February with the sole purpose of tracking down the extremely rare monkey.
The researchers funded their expedition with donations collected from Indiegogo, a website specialized in crowdfunding different projects. The Wildlife Conservation Society also contributed with donations to help the scientists achieve their goals.
Devreese stated that they managed to take the first-ever photos of this particular monkey, confirming that the species is alive and well and has not gone extinct, as it was previously believed.
According to the experts, there are several species that belong to the of red colobus group. Until recently, researchers only knew about the Bouvier’s red colobus monkey from a few specimens that are in museums and were collected almost a century ago.
The recently discovered monkey is not apprehensive of humans, which is why it makes it vulnerable to hunters that capture and kill it for bushmeat.
The officials from Wildlife Conservation Society said that the Bouvier;s red colobus monkey gazed at the researchers who photographed not fearful but very curious.
Fiona Maisels, biologist at the Wildlife Conservation Society, talked about the recently spotted rare primate, saying that many of the red colobus monkeys now live in national parks, which protect them from threats like, agriculture, logging and roads, which can lead to an increased number of poachers and hunters.
Gobolo and Devreese were helped by the local people who described the monkeys and their specific calls.
Image Source: iflscience