mystery monkeys of shangri-la

This film is an extraordinary first and unique document of the rare and beautiful Yunnan snub-nosed monkey, with its moving family drama.

programme information


1 x 60'

Production Company

A co-production of Wild China Films, Mark Fletcher Productions Ltd., Terra Mater Factual Studios and THIRTEEN Productions LLC for WNET





Episode Information

Strangely beautiful, as endangered as the giant panda, charismatic but elusive; until now. This is the first time that the intimate life of the little known Yunnan snub-nosed monkey has been thoroughly recorded. There are less than 2,000 of these monkeys left in the wild. Locating and following them is a huge challenge. They are elusive, semi-nomadic, and their home is a fortress of extremely steep hillsides and impenetrable bamboo thickets at the mercy of deep winter snow. For two years, our film crew faced extreme conditions to follow monkey bands over Himalayan passes and down into deep river valleys. They returned with a chronicle of the life of the Yunnan snub-nosed monkey and behaviour new to science. The film starts in spring, in a remote valley of the Chinese Himalayas, where two new-born babies are settling into their monkey family. They are half-brothers: the first one is nurtured and cosseted in the shelter of the family, while the other one struggles after his mother abandons him. Can he survive? The ‘Mystery Monkeys of Shangri-La’ is more than a natural history. It is an intimate story of courage, love, friendship and family, filmed against a backdrop of stunning Himalayan scenery.

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