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Photo of Rare Red Colobus Monkey Proves It’s Not Extinct

Bouvier's red colobus
The first photograph ever taken of Bouvier's red colobus (an adult female and infant) taken in the Republic of Congo's Ntokou-Pikounda National Park in early March. Lieven Devreese

Bouvier's red colobus monkey had not been seen for more than 50 years, leading some to think it was extinct. That was until two researchers snapped a photo of the rare primate in Ntokou-Pikounda National Park, which was established in 2013 in the Republic of Congo.

This is the first time Bouvier's red colobus monkey has ever been photographed, according to the Wildlife Conservation Society. Lieven Devreese and Gaël Elie Gnondo Gobolo went in search of the monkey in February 2015, walking through the 1,765-square-mile national park also inhabited by gorillas, elephants and other animals. It took them only a month to find a group of the monkeys near the Bokiba River.

"Our photos are the world's first and confirm that the species is not extinct," Devreese said in a statement.

Very little is known about Bouvier's red colobus monkey, which was first described in 1887. There are several species of red colobus monkey. The primates, according to the WCS, are not frightened by humans, making them vulnerable to hunters.

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