Red-Shanked Douc

This species is one of the most colourful of all primates, and it is arboreal by nature. Its Vietnamese name is pronounced "dook". This brightly coloured monkey is found in Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos.

These amazingly athletic monkeys can leap distances of 6 m (20 ft) from branch to branch in the forest canopy. Red-shanked doucs live in small groups, each one occupying a particular area of the forest where they move on what are effectively set pathways around the treetops. Like most monkeys it is very social, their groups of 4 - 15 individuals consisting of mostly females, but including one or more adult males. Young red-shanked doucs cling on to their mothers from birth, and travel with the rest of the troop. This is one of the most brightly coloured species of monkey, with some varieties sporting bright yellow faces surrounded by pure white whiskers, and rich red-chestnut coloured legs. It takes around 10 months for them to obtain adult colouration.

Distribution: Found in Southeast Asia, in Laos as well as northern and central parts of Vietnam, at altitudes of up to 2000 m (6600 ft) in forested areas.

Weight: 5 - 7 kg (11 - 15 lb); males are heavier.

Length: 117 - 152 cm (46 - 60 in) overall; tail is longer than the body.

Maturity: Females around 4 years; males 4 - 5 years.

Gestation Period: 165 - 190 days.

Breeding: 1, rarely twins; t weaning occurs at 11 months.

Diet: Vegetarian, favouring leaves, but will also eat fruit in season, flowers and seeds.

Lifespan: Up to 25 years.

Facial distinction

Males of red-shanked doucs have much fluffier white hair framing the face.


This is white along its length and is used for balancing, not for grasping.


Unusually, members of a troop will pick leaves and share these with each other.


These are relatively long and strong, helping the douc to pluck vegetation easily.


A lesser-known characteristic of this douc is its ability to swim, although it rarely descends to the ground.

The red-shanked douc’s slanted eyes point forwards, helping it to judge distances accurately when jumping.