A remote jungle in the Congo has yielded a new species of monkey, the first to be found in almost 30 years. Scientists discovered the lesula in the Democratic Republic of Congo's Lomami forest basin after spotting an unusual monkey being kept as a pet in a small forest town, reports CNN. Further investigation revealed that it was an entirely new species, which dwells only in the still largely unexplored Lomami forest.
"We never expected to find a new species there," the lead researcher says, "but the Lomami basin is a very large block that has had very little exploration by biologists." But while the lesula is new to science, it is no stranger to local hunters. Scientists fear hunting and other human pressures could soon wipe out the monkey and many other species in the region. "The challenge for conservation now in Congo is to intervene before losses become definitive," the lead researcher says, adding that the Lomami region is soon to become a protected national park. (Read more monkey stories.)