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Douc Langurs (Pygathrix spp.) Fact Sheet: Managed Care

Douc Langurs (Pygathrix spp.)

History of Managed Care

 History in zoos

  • In 1937 a Douc langur survived 4 months at the London Zoo
  • Between 1967 and 1971, 96 animals were imported into 20 collections. 7% were long term survivors.
  • No wild-caught animals have been imported since 1981. (Marvin Jones)
  • Beginning in the late ‘60s they were widely imported into US and European zoos. Exhibited in 8 zoos in 1968, 15 zoos by 1973. Currently successful colonies exist only in Cologne (2.8), San Diego (3.8) and Singapore (2.3)

 Breeding in managed care

  • First successful births in managed care - June 1969 Memphis Zoo, August 1969 San Diego and May 1970 Cologne Zoo
  • Interval between arrival of animal and reproduction has always been 2-4 years. Adults acquired as a group appear to acclimatize better and reproduce sooner than animals introduced from several sources


  • Difficult to maintain in managed care because of their highly specialized nutrition and habitat requirements. Gastric distress is the most common digestive disorder.
  • Types of foods offered in zoos
    • Foliage, browse
    • Diet augmented with vegetables (broccoli, carrots, corn, cucumber, green beans, sweet potato, tomato, turnip and yam), leafy greens (collard, dandelion, mustard, bok choy, kale, romaine, and spinach), fruit and grains.
    • Specially formulated high-fiber biscuit
  • Enclosure temperature: 77-80°F; relative humidity 70%
    • Young animals are particularly susceptible to cold. Do not acclimatize well
  • Must have sufficient shade - Doucs avoid direct sunlight
  • Enclosures should be large enough to allow for jumping and running. Swinging elements, sitting perches, and play objects (use of natural fibers should be avoided because they may cause bezoars if ingested)
  • Aggressive interactions-brief sparring without resultant injury. Low-pitched growl may be given as a threat
  • May banish a single individual from the group
  • Ruempler (1998) provides extensive data on hand-rearing

Treetop Dining

Douc langur

Difficult to maintain in managed care—have specialized diets.

Should be offered a variety of leaves, vegetables, leafy greens, fruits, and grains.

Image credit: © San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance. All rights reserved.

Page Citations

Kavanagh (1978)
Lippold (1987)
Ruempler (1998)

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