- Photo Courtesy Ron Brackin
Dracula monkeys, previously thought to be extinct, have resurfaced in Indonesia's remaining jungle area much to the surprise of scientists.
Scientists, who planted cameras in an attempt to observe orangutans, rare clouded leopards and other wildlife, have instead caught footage of Grizzled Langurs monkeys. The monkeys are thought to resemble Dracula with their dark black faces, surrounded by a collar of white fur that suggests a cape like appearance.
The monkeys were found in remote Wahea forest lands in Borneo, far outside their original reported location. Photographs captured of the monkeys are the first ever documented, outside of museum sketches.
Brent Loken, a PhD student at Simon Fraser University in Canada showed enthusiasm about the discovery. "We were all pretty ecstatic, the fact that, wow, this monkey still lives, and also that it's in Wehea," said Loken.
The monkeys previously occupied northern Borneo, as well as the islands of Sumatra and Java and the Thai-Malay peninsula, land that had been previously destroyed by natural fires and humans for the purpose of mining and agriculture.
Loken expressed concern for the species in an interview with the Associated Press. "For me the discovery of this monkey is representative of so many species in Indonesia," Loken said.
"There are so many animals we know so little about and their home ranges are disappearing so quickly. It feels like a lot of these animals are going to quickly enter extinction."
Cameras set up by the team of scientists caught over 4000 images of the monkey. Scientists will continue to investigate and are not sure at this point whether a number of Dracula monkeys are living in the forest, or if a single family was repeatedly caught returning to where cameras were located.