A rare monkey hadn’t been seen since the 1970s but scientists have finally found the red monkey in the Congo, on a research expedition. The red monkey was even photographed for the first time, giving scientists some incredible insights into what the animal was. Even more impressively, the photograph provided concrete evidence that the monkey existed. The Bouvier’s red colobus, as it’s called in the scientific world, hadn’t been seen since the 70s yet had continued living normally along the Congo River.
Ultimately, it had been said to this point that hunting and logging were the things that led to the demise of the monkey. Some even contended that it was extinct. While it wasn’t something that was widely confirmed, it also wasn’t something that scientists or researchers had much information to go on. It wasn’t until this expedition in March that the information was actually brought to light. Some of the things that were learned were significantly interesting to the overall population and area as well.
Lieven Devreese of Belgium and Gaël Elie Gnondo Gobolo of the Republic of the Congo pointed out that this was a confirmation that the monkey, which was previously thought to be extinct, was anything but actually extinct. He said, “Our photos are the world’s first [of the monkey], and confirm that the species is not extinct.”
Fiona Maisels, a biologist and expert on Central Africa for the Wildlife Conservation Society said of the findings that, “Thankfully, many of these colobus monkeys live in the recently gazetted national park and are protected from threats such as logging, agriculture and roads, all of which can lead to increased hunting.”
In all, the findings are incredibly impressive and really lend to the growth of the region and points to the strength that the region employs in regenerating things that have been lost. It shows the strength and the power that nature has, and in this situation – it shows just how much is still unknown in areas like this.