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London Zoo welcomes first ever 'sacred' baby monkey

This special new arrival is not only extremely cute, but considered 'sacred' as it is named after a Hindu god

Zookeepers at ZSL London Zoo are celebrating the arrival of a baby monkey considered sacred by Indian holy men.

The Hamuman langur monkey, the first ever to be born at the Zoo’s Land of the Lions exhibit, is named after the Hindu god Hanuman.

Born to first-time parents Saffron and Rex after a 200-day gestation, zookeepers were delighted when they first spotted the tiny arrival - named Kamala - last month.

Video footage shows the young primate finding her way around her new home(Image: ZSL London Zoo)

Remarkable footage from inside the zoo's enclosure captures the young monkey bonding with her parents and starting to find her way around her new home.

Zookeeper Agnes Kiss said: “The first Hanuman langur to be born to this troop at ZSL London Zoo and the first new arrival at Land of the Lions, this tiny primate is an exciting symbol of the success of this project.

“To mark the occasion, we’ve called her Kamala, which means lotus flower in Gujarati – the sign of beauty, fertility and prosperity. Everyone is very pleased with Kamala’s progress so far.

“At the moment, she has a pale face and downy dark fur, but it won’t be long before her skin turns black and her coat thickens and turns a magnificent silver - just like her parents.

The newborn is called Kamala, which means lotus flower in Gujarati – the sign of beauty, fertility and prosperity(Image: ZSL London Zoo)

“She’ll also grow into her large ears, which are perfect for picking up subtle noises over long distances.

"In the Gir National Park [Gujarat, India], Hanuman langurs act as an early warning system for other wildlife – making loud ‘barks’ from high in the treetops to warn of a lion’s approach.

"In Land of the Lions the troop can often be heard vocalising in response to the lions’ roars, which Kamala will learn how to do from her parents.”

Baby Kamala was born on Sunday (July 23) at London Zoo(Image: ZSL London Zoo)

Land of the Lions, which opened last year, is also home to ZSL’s Asiatic lion pride - male Bhanu and lionesses Heidi, Indi and Rubi.

The exhibit tells the story of the Gir, a unique area that is home to the last wild population of the Critically Endangered lion species.

Hanuman langurs are widespread throughout Asia, and are named after the Hindu god of healing and worship. By contrast, there are just 500 Asiatic lions left in the wild.

Kamala’s upbringing is already a community affair, which is natural for Hanuman langurs.

Dad Rex is staying protectively close to his first born, while another female, Lucy, has been spotted carefully carrying Kamala around - giving Saffron a well-deserved rest.

The 'sacred' baby monkey is still finding her way around(Image: ZSL London Zoo)

Visit ZSL London Zoo this summer to see Kamala and more than 18,000 other animal residents, and enjoy a really great day out that makes a real difference.

Head to their website for more info and to book tickets.

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