The fourth silvery gibbon infant in the Czech Republic’s history was born at the Prague Zoo on Saturday night. After a seven-month pregnancy, the baby was born to caring mom Alang Alang, while dad Flip supervises the rest of the family. It is estimated that less than 2,000 adults of this rare primate occur in the wild.
Explaining the significance of this rare birth, director of the Prague Zoo, Miroslav Bobek said "Silvery gibbons are an endangered species. They only occur in the wild on the Indonesian island of Java. In Europe there are only nine zoos breeding this species, with a total of 50 individuals."
The Prague group of silvery gibbons has now grown to four members. Like other species of gibbons, they maintain monogamous relationships for life. They form small family groups, which is why the baby’s older brother, Abu-abu, who was born in 2018, lives with his parents.
16-year-old female Alang Alang and male Flip came to the Prague Zoo in 2014. A year later, Alang Alang gave birth to the first baby silvery gibbon to be born in the history of Czech and Slovak zoos. That child, a six-year-old male named Silver Arrow, moved to the zoo in Halle, Germany this year as a future breeding male. The infant born on Saturday is the third child of the Prague breeding pair.
"The baby is doing well, the female Alang Alang is already an experienced mother and takes good care of it. She cleaned it immediately after giving birth, keeps it on her stomach and nurses it. As this species does not have a significant sexual dimorphism, we will only know the sex in a few years after it matures," says the head primate Martin Vojáček.
Visitors to the Prague Zoo can observe these beautiful silver primates on one of the islands within the Water World and Monkey Islands exhibit.