A new resident was born in Macao on Valentine’s Day – a baby golden snub-nosed monkey who will soon be one of the cutest attractions on show at Seac Pai Van Park.
Macao has not had an easy couple of months. With the outbreak of the coronavirus in January, there have been many tough weeks for residents, businesses and the government. However, as the city strides forward in the face of adversity over the coming weeks, Macao Magazine would like to take a couple of pages to focus on a cute snippet of good news. Especially if you’re a fan of monkeys.
On Valentine’s Day of all days – 14 February – the city welcomed its newest furry resident at Seac Pai Van Park in Coloane, which is famous for its pandas, peacocks and many other creatures that are on show to the public. According to the Government Information Bureau, the new addition is the first infant of a pair of seven-year-old golden snub-nosed monkeys called ‘San Hei’ (三黑) – which means ‘Three Black’ in English – and ‘Eleven’ (十一).
The Municipal Affairs Bureau has since been monitoring the primate family’s health from a distance so as to avoid any disturbances as the proud mum nurses her firstborn. It has been reported that both are in a stable condition and, as a result, on 14 March, the baby – who is yet to be officially named – was shown to the public for the first time at the park, exactly one month after he was born. This was three weeks after the park resumed operation on 20 February after being closed as a response to the government’s COVID-19 measures.
Macao Magazine sent a member of staff to the zoo a few days after the baby was shown to the public for the first time to see the new monkey and we can safely report that mother and baby were inseparable during our visit. Of course, mum wouldn’t let anyone too close to her son – who we hear is already learning to climb trees – so the adorable baby clung to his mother’s neck and was cuddled by her at all times.
The mother and father golden snub-nosed monkeys have been living at Seac Pai Van Park since 25 October 2017. They are on loan from the Municipal Services Department of the Qingdao Wildlife Rescue Centre in the port city of Qinhuangdao in Hebei province. After the new infant reaches 24 months old, he will be returned to the Qingdao centre. But until then he will likely be a popular attraction for Macao residents and tourists to see with his parents at Seac Pai Van Park.
The snub-nosed facts
Know your golden snub-nosed monkeys
- The golden snub-nosed monkey is a unique species in China, a national first-class protected rare and endangered species.
- Covered in golden fur with a pale blue face and iconic crooked nose, these monkeys mostly inhabit dense alpine forests.
- The Chinese name for the monkey translates to the ‘Sichuan golden hair monkey’ (四川金絲猴). It is also known as the ‘Sichuan snub-nosed monkey’.
- There are three species of snub-nosed monkeys in China but the golden variety is the most widely distributed throughout the Middle Kingdom.
- These monkeys can withstand colder average temperatures than any other non-human primates. They are used to frequent snows in their habitat.
- Their diet varies with the seasons but they are primarily herbivores with a penchant for tasty lichens.
- They spend up to 97 per cent of their time up in the trees.
- On average, a male weighs about 19.9kg but a female is just 12.2kg.
- They are thought to live about 20 to 25 years. In captivity, they have been known to live for more than 23 years.
- The golden snub-nosed monkey population is between 8,000 and 15,000 and they are labelled endangered as they are threatened by habitat loss in the wild.