Thursday, May 24, 2012

Wild at Heart: The Red-Shanked Douc Langur

Over the next few days, I will be bringing you previews of the work that will be exhibited this Saturday, May 26th at "Wild at Heart: Keep Wildlife in the Wild," the endangered species benefit that Andrew Hosner and I are co-curating at Thinkspace. 20% of the proceeds of the show will go to Born Free USA to help threatened wildlife. Hope to see you there!

Andrew Hem "Red Got Shanked"

The Red-Shanked Douc is also known as the “costumed ape” because of its extravagant appearance. The most colorful of all the monkeys, it sports maroon stockings, long white gloves, and a golden face framed by a white ruff. An arboreal species, it lives in undisturbed evergreen broadleaf forests in Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam, where it spends its days jumping effortlessly from tree to tree in search of small tender leaves, flowers and fruits. A playful, social animal, it behaves cooperatively with other members of its group, sharing food and even caring for orphaned infants.

During the Vietnam War, the red-shanked douc’s forest habitat was devastated by Agent Orange, and the colorful monkeys were frequently used for target practice by soldiers. After the war, the forest was further decimated by logging for coffee, rubber and cashew plantations. Today, natives hunt the douc for food and for its body parts, which are used in traditional medicine, as well as trapping it for the illegal pet trade. Though no one knows for sure how many red-shanked doucs are still alive, it is estimated that its numbers have declined by at least 50% over the past 30 years.

1 comment:

Merisi said...

What a beautiful painting!
So sad this ape is still being hunted and killed.