Naming rights for monkey species being sold to raise conservation funds

A new species of titi monkey found in 2000 in Bolivia’s Madidi National Park will not be named by the monkey’s scientific discoverers, but by the highest bidder in an online auction. “To discover a new species of mammal is just incredibly exciting and we decided to use this opportunity to raise the profile of Madidi,” said biologist Robert Wallace, who helped make the case that the monkey is a distinct species. Called “Luca, Luca” by locals for the sound it makes, the monkey — described by Wallace as “quite sort of fluffy looking” — is covered in gold, orange, and burgundy colored fur, stands about 15 inches high, and weighs about 2 pounds. The auction for naming rights will be hosted by from Feb. 24 to March 3, and proceeds will go toward conservation in the park. Wallace says the highest bidder can choose any name for the monkey as long as it conforms to the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature, which doesn’t allow for offensive words. Guess that sends us back to the drawing board.