Snub-Nosed Monkeys in Zoological Gardens and Other Captive Settings


Snub-nosed monkeys are only held in zoos and other captive settings within the People’s Republic of China. As far as I know, there are no captive held Tonkin snub-nosed monkeys, but at least a juvenile used to live at Cuc Phuong NP Rescue Center in Vietnam. Only two colonies of Guizhou snub-nosed monkeys are maintained in captivity: one at the breeding center of Fanjingshan Nature Reserve near the town of  Jiangkou in Guizhou, and another one at Daxing Safari Park in the vicinity of Beijing. Sichuan snub-nosed monkeys can be found in several Chinese zoos, e.g. at Kunming Zoo, Beijing Zoo, Hangzhou Safari Park, Shanghai Wild Animal Park and at a similar park near Beijing. The latter two institutions have large populations with OMUs and AMUs living in semifree-ranging conditions. Yunnan snub-nosed monkeys are maintained only at the breeding center of the Kunming Institute of Zoology (10 animals in 2003), at Kunming Zoo (7 animals in 2002) and at Beijing Zoo (4 animals in 2003). Exchange for breeding purposes of R. bieti exists at least between the first two institutions.

The first golden monkey was displayed in 1956 in Beijing Zoo and succesfully bred in 1964. In 1984, a pair was loaned from Chengdu to San Diego Zoo, in 1986 from Chongqing Zoo to Seattle and Portland. This was the first-ever “exhibition” of this species outside its native China (San Diego Zoological Society 1985). Also Los Angeles and San Francisco temporarily held loaned animals in the mid 80’s. Later in the 90’s, animals were loaned from Shanghai to Japanese zoos. Breeding has been successful in all three Chinese species. Hybrids between R. roxellana and R. brelichi were born in Beijing Zoo in 1969/1970.

Research on captive R. avunculus and R. brelichi is virtually nonexistent (but see Yang et al. 2002). Ren Renmei and collegues from Peking University started their behavioral observations on R. roxellana in captivity over a decade ago. This work is still going on and has found followers of other Chinese institutions. In the case of R. bieti, some basic biological research has been undertaken in captivity.


Kunming Zoo


Kunming Institute of Zoology


Daxing Wildlife Park


Shanghai Yesheng Dongwuyuan