New monkey species discovered in Africa
"When we started our inventories in the [Tshuapa-Lomami-Lualaba] landscape we knew it was essentially unexplored but we did not imagine how important the biological discoveries would be,"
- Dr John Hart of the Lukuru Foundation, who led the project
A new species of monkey has been identified in Africa, the first one in 28 years, say scientists.
The primate was discovered in the Democratic Republic of Congo where it is known locally as a "lesula".
The species is separated from its nearest cousins by two rivers: the Congo and the Lomami.
Conservationists say the discovery highlights the need to protect the diverse wildlife of the Congo basin.
The discovery was published in the online journal Public Library of Science.
The first contact scientists had with the monkey was when they encountered a juvenile female, kept in a cage by a primary school director in the town of Opala.