A rare species of monkey, the grayish black assamese macaque, is reportedly living in the Longhu Mountain Nature Reserve in South China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.
It's the first time in 20 years this kind of monkey has been found in the region, according to the nature reserve.
The male monkey, as fat as a bear, entered the nature reserve from neighbouring mountains about two weeks ago, reserve workers said.
Assamese macaques are found mostly in India, Viet Nam and China. With no more than several thousand in the world, the species is now on the first level protection list in China.
More than 2,000 macaques, related to the assamese macaque, live in the Longhu Mountain Nature Reserve. Experts said the assamese macaque was likely attracted to the reserve because of these macaques.
"It's very likely that somewhere not too far away there is a tribe of assamese macaques," said Long Chengqia, director of the reserve.
Long has been studying the macaque in the reserve since it was set up in 1980. He said the discovery is an indication of the improvement of the natural environment in the region.
"Vegetation and safety are the two major concerns for assamese macaques when choosing their habitat," said Wu Mingchuan, an executive of the Guangxi Wild Animal Protection Association, who has been responsible for investigating wild animals since 1970s.
The nature reserve here would provide a good environment for them to live and multiply, said Wu.
(China Daily July 29, 2002)