The red-shanked douc (Pygathrix nemaeus) is an Endangered specie of monkey native to the lowland and mountainous rainforests of Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, and China.

The word “douc” (which is pronounced “dook”) is the Vietnamese word for monkey. Doucs fall into the collective of leaf-monkeys also known as langurs; a subfamily of Old World monkeys referred to as colobinae, of which there 59 species across 10 different genera, a couple of those you may be more familiar with being the African black and white colobus monkey and the pot-bellied, bulbous-nosed proboscis monkey endemic to the Southeast Asian island of Borneo.

Doucs, indeed langurs in general, live in social groups with an average size of 4 to 15, although these can be much larger with as many as 50 members. They live a mostly arboreal life in the mid to upper levels of the canopy, feeding, interacting, nurturing their young during the day, and sleeping along branches at night.

All species of langurs I’ve come across are utterly charming, though the red-shanked douc is arguably the most attractive for its tri-coloured coat – orange, white, and grey – and the super long whiskers they sport giving them such a wonderful air of wisdom.

This image was captured at my home-away-from-home aka Khao Kheow Open Zoo, Chonburi, Thailand.

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