Scientists have identified a new species of African monkey with distinct coloring that differentiates it from other species. The new primate species, now scientifically named Cercopithecus lomamiensis, was first found by a research team during their field surveys in a remote area of the middle Lomami Basin between Tshuapa, Lomami and Lualaba Rivers in the central Democratic Republic of Congo.
The species is locally known as “Lesula” and was first seen by researchers in captivity in 2007 with a schoolgirl in the town of Opala who had it as a pet. The Lesula monkeys live in the remote forests of central Congo and are well-known to local hunters. They are hunted upon by humans and also wild animals and big birds of prey such as eagles.
The Lesula monkeys are considered “vulnerable” as the locals hunt them for food or to sell to the bush-meat trade, thereby endangering their existence. The husband-wife team is now raising funds to launch a conservation project to protect the newly found species. (Reuters / Terese Hart / bonoboincongo.com)
Danny, a bushmeat buyer, with baby lesulas in Obenge, Flickr/Terese Hart (Terese Hart/ bonoboincongo.com)
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