By Sarah Falson
MOSMAN, Syd: Bing Lee will officially announce tomorrow a partnership with the Taronga Zoo which sees the retailer become a major sponsor of the primate conservation program at the Zoo.
“In the 50 years since Bing Lee opened its doors countless animals have become extinct in the wild including the Red Fruit Bat, Cuban Spider Monkey and the West Indian porcupine,” said the company.
“While they may not be household names like Bing Lee, the leading electrical retailer has become Taronga Zoo’s major sponsor of the Francois Langurs, a small, but critically endangered leaf-eating monkey featured in the Zoo’s new Wild Asia. Bing Lee’s sponsorship will ensure the conservation work of at least one species is pursued.”
According to the company, recent research has revealed that Francois Langur numbers are declining, with as few as 800 individuals remaining in the wild, making them more endangered than their Wild Asia neighbours, the Silvery Gibbons.
Therefore, Taronga and Western Plains Zoo are working with National Parks staff at Cuc Phuong in Vietnam to help protect the animals.
“The Francois Langurs are in urgent need of support from the expanding range of in situ conservation programs run by Taronga Zoo, that apply the zoos’ formidable expertise to support these amazing creatures,” said Bing Lee General Manager, Phil Moujaes.
“Bing Lee is honoured to partner with Taronga Zoo and play a vital role in helping to save the Francois Langur.
“Francoise Langurs and other species face tremendous pressure from habitat loss as farmers remove forests for crops and aggressive poachers who dynamite whole trees to capture young Langurs for the pet trade.”
The Francois Langur conservation program includes keeper exchanges, veterinary assistance and financial support for Vietnam’s oldest National Park, Cuc Phoung, where the monkeys live.
“It is hoped that this new sponsorship will help raise public awareness of the plight of Francois Langurs and encourage visitors to support the Zoo’s vital conservation work for the species through The Taronga Foundation,” said Taronga Zoo director and chief executive, Guy Cooper.