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Clinging to its mother as she swings from branch to branch at Munich’s Hellabrunn Zoo, a tiny Javan Gibbon represents hope for this critically endangered primate.

Born August 19, the infant is one of only handful of Javan Gibbons born worldwide each year in zoos, making it an important part of the international captive breeding and conservation effort for this species.

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The baby, whose gender is not yet known, is the fourth baby born to female Pangrango and is a constant source of entertainment for older brother Flip, age 7, and sisters Isabell, 4, and Kim, 2. 

“Munich’s Javan Gibbons are really very special; this endangered species of primate is only found in one German zoo, here at Hellabrunn. The birth of a fourth baby increases the family to six members. We play an important role in breeding and we are making a significant contribution to the conservation of Javan Gibbons. We are very proud of this,” said zoo director, Dr. Andreas Knieriem.

Javan Gibbons are found only on the Indonesian island of Java and are one of the world’s most endangered primates.  They share the island, which is about the size of North Carolina, with 135 million people and are confined to a few small forest reserves.  Javan Gibbons are also known as Silvery Gibbons. Like all gibbon species, they use their long arms to brachiate among tree branches.  Family groups sing loudly to advertise their territory to other gibbons. 

Photo Credit:  Hellabrunn Zoo