Chester Zoo Shares Photos of One-Day-Old Baby Gibbon

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A rare baby Gibbon is the latest addition to the “biggest baby boom of mammals” on record at Chester Zoo.

The Silvery Gibbon – one of the world’s most threatened primates – was born to mom Tilu, age 10, and 19-year-old dad Alven on October 10 after a gestation of around 210 days.

The tiny, pink-faced primate is much too small to be sexed and therefore has not yet been named.

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1. Baby silvery gibbon (6)Photo Credit: Chester Zoo

Gibbons are built for life in the trees and use their extra-long arms to swing from branch to branch, a technique called brachiation. As mom travels in the treetops, her baby clings tightly to her chest using its long fingers.

As the baby matures, it will begin to venture away from mom for brief periods. Like most Apes, Gibbons grow relatively slowly and depend on their mothers for a long period. Females give birth approximately once every three years. Silvery Gibbons are uncommon in zoos.

Silvery Gibbons, also known as Javan Gibbons, are found only on the Indonesian island of Java. These Apes are restricted to mountainous areas with dense forest cover. Though habitat loss is an issue on heavily-populated Java, the areas where Gibbons are found are very remote and rugged, so Gibbon populations have stabilized. Nonetheless, Silvery Gibbons are listed as Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Fewer than 5,000 individuals remain in more than 15 locations on the island. Only about half of the Gibbons live in protected areas.  

See more photos of the baby Gibbon below.

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Critically Endangered Gibbon Born at Zoo Wroclaw

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Zoo Wroclaw is excited to announce the birth of a Northern White-cheeked Gibbon. The baby arrived on June 28th, and the sex is not yet known.

Zoo Wrocław is now home to a total of three Northern White-cheeked Gibbons. The infant’s parents both arrived in October 2013. The first one to make their home at the Zoo was 9-year-old dad, Xian. He was born in Apeldorn, NL, and was sent to Wrocław via the zoo in Pilsen, Czech Republic. A week later, Xian was joined by female, Carusa. She was born in 2006 at the Osnabrück Zoo, Germany. The pair’s first offspring, a male called Dao, was born on October 17, 2014.

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4_2017-06-29 (81)Photo Credits: Zoo Wroclaw 

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Adelaide Zoo Receives Early Holiday Gift


Christmas has come early at Adelaide Zoo with the arrival of a special gift…a critically endangered White-cheeked Gibbon baby! Born in the early hours of December 10, the infant is the fourth offspring of parents Viet and Remus.

The birth is a significant achievement for Adelaide Zoo, as the youngster is one of only four White-cheeked Gibbon infants to be born at the zoo in its 130-year history.

The infant is extremely important to the international breeding program working to save the White-cheeked Gibbon from extinction. With a declining trend in the wild population of at least 80 per cent over the past 45 years, the species is classified as “Critically Endangered” by the IUCN. It is in serious decline in its native Laos, Vietnam and Southern China, due to deforestation and poaching for the wildlife trade.

2_Adelaide Zoo gibbon babyPhoto Credits: Zoos SA/Adrian Mann

Adelaide Zoo Senior Primate Keeper, Jodie Ellen, said Viet and Remus were doting parents, while older sisters Nhu and Tien were fascinated by the new addition. “The baby is absolutely adorable and is looking strong and healthy, clinging tightly to mum, which is important considering they live high up in the tree tops of their island home,” Jodie said.

“Viet and Rhemus are incredibly loving and capable parents and it’s heart-warming to the entire family caring for the little one. Older sisters Nhu and Tien are excited by the new addition to the family and will play a very hands-on role in the upbringing of the new baby,” Jodie added.

The new family spent the first few days relaxing between their night quarters and their leafy island habitat.

White-cheeked Gibbons are born a golden color before gradually turning black. Females turn gold again when they reach maturity at around five years of age while males remain black. The baby’s gender is not yet known and it may be many months before it can be determined.

Gibbon "Preemie" is Growing Strong

2016 10 PZ pileated gibbon baby by Miriam Haas 2Keepers at the Paignton Zoo are cautiously optimistic that a rare Pileated Gibbon baby will survive despite being born several weeks prematurely.

Born September 19 to parents Shukdi and Hantu, the baby would be the first of its species to be reared during the zoo’s 15-year breeding program.

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2016 10 PZ pileated gibbon baby 1Photo Credit:  Miriam Haas


Like all Gibbons, a Pileated Gibbon baby clings to its mother’s belly for the first several months of life.  Because the baby is so closely held by mom, keepers are often unable to determine the baby's gender until it begins exploring on its own.     

Male and female Pileated Gibbons display sexual dimorphism – males and females look differently from one another.  Females have light-colored bodies and dark faces, while males have all black fur with white markings. 

Found in Thailand, Cambodia, and Laos, Pileated Gibbons live in the treetops and feed during the day on fruit, leaves, and small animals.  They are listed as Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, due to hunting and severe habitat loss and fragmentation. 

See more photos of the baby Gibbon below.

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Baby Gibbon A First For Indianapolis Zoo

Gibbon baby-Carla Knapp

A baby White-handed Gibbon born at the Indianapolis Zoo on October 23 is the first offspring for its parents and the first Gibbon ever born at the zoo!Gibbon baby2-Carla Knapp

Koko and baby-Carla Knapp
Koko and baby2-Carla KnappPhoto Credit:  Carla Knapp

Zoo keepers do not yet know the gender of the little Gibbon, because for the first several weeks the baby clings tightly to mom’s belly.  These gripping skills are important, because mom uses both arms to swing through the trees in a fluid motion called brachiation.  That means it’s up to the baby to hang on by gripping mom’s fur.  Mom helps a bit by holding her legs up to create a supportive “seat” for the baby.

Though this is the first baby for female Koko and her mate Elliot, both are doing a great job caring for their infant.  White-handed Gibbons’ fur colors include tan, brown, and black.  The baby takes after Koko and has black fur.

Native to Southeast Asia, Gibbons are known for their elaborate vocalizations, which mated pairs engage in daily as a way to reinforce their bond.  These Apes also sing to announce their territories to other Gibbons.  As it grows, the baby Gibbon will join its parents’ song.

White-handed Gibbons are listed as Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature due to illegal hunting and habitat loss from forest clearing for agriculture and the construction of non-sustainable palm oil plantations.


'Duke' the Gibbon’s Inspiring Story Continues


On April 29, 2013, it's doubtful anyone, at Greensboro Science Center, knew how much of an impact the tiny Javan Gibbon, born that day, would have on the facility or the community. The rare, endangered male was born to mom, ‘Isabella’, in the Center’s indoor Gibbon habitat.

In both the wild and in zoos, it’s not unusual for first-time mother Gibbons to abandon their first child, and that’s exactly what happened to the fragile newborn, who was discovered alone in the Gibbon habitat. Thanks to the expert care of zoo keepers, veterinarians, and the staff of a local hospital, the baby, named ‘Duke’, was revived and stabilized. To give Duke the best chance of survival, zoo staffers decided to hand-rear the baby for the next six months, and then try to reintroduce him to his parents, Isabella and Leon, in the exhibit.

ZooBorns shared Duke’s compelling story in two installments: in his birth announcement and in a later update that chronicled his progress


Duke5Photos: Greensboro Science Center ; Video: The University of North Carolina Center for Public Television

We have since learned there is more to Duke’s touching story. The University of North Carolina Center for Public Television recently produced a short segment for the program “North Carolina Weekend”, that aired on their local PBS station.

The segment chronicles Duke’s dramatic entrance into the world, his reintroduction to his family, and his traumatic ordeal with a broken arm.

Two-year-old Duke has become a symbol of perseverance, and his story also reiterates how important man is to the equation of conservation and stewardship of the animal kingdom.




Labor of Love for Perth Zoo Keepers


A rare Javan Gibbon has survived the first few months of life, all thanks to the round-the-clock care and attention provided by the staff at Perth Zoo, Western Australia.



PerthZooOwaGibbon62daysAug212014_6Photo Credits: Perth Zoo

The little male Javan Gibbon, named ‘Owa’ (Indonesian for ‘gibbon’), was born on June 20th, and has had to be reared by Perth Zoo keepers. Six days after his birth, it became evident that his mother, ‘Hecla’, wasn’t producing enough milk to sustain her infant.

Primate Supervisor, Holly Thompson, said, “It is difficult to rear a primate and introduce it back to its family, so it’s not something we took on lightly. However, Perth Zoo has an exceptionally good track record in this area.  We’ve successfully hand-reared four White-Cheeked Gibbons, but Owa is our first Javan Gibbon!”

According to Holly, life in her department has become a blur of nappies, milk formula and sleepless nights. Their department now features a portacot, and has been essentially turned into a temporary nursery. However, Thompson emphasizes, “It’s certainly a labor of love!”

Currently weighing in at a healthy 860g (1.9 lbs), Owa receives six bottle feeds a day and has just started enjoying mashed fruit and vegetables.

The infant Javan Gibbon visits his mother and father, ‘Jury’, and four-year-old sister, ‘Sunda’, at least twice a day. The group is very interested and protective of him, and it’s anticipated that he will return to his family once he is old enough to be weaned off his milk feeds.

Owa is Hecla’s tenth offspring. Hecla and her mate, Jury, are the world’s most successful breeding pair of Javan Gibbons. Perth Zoo is responsible for the coordination of the Studbook for this unique species, which involves updating the international studbook for Javan Gibbons and advising on suitable breeding and genetics for this species throughout Australasia.

See more great pics and learn more, below the fold!

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Baby Gibbon is in Good Hands at Jackson Zoo

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A warm welcome to the newest White-handed Gibbon born at Mississippi's Jackson Zoo! The baby is a little female named Jari, an Indonesian word meaning 'fingers'. She was born on November 22 to  mom Mia and father Cookie-Man, and weighed 1.3 pounds (.6 kg) at birth.

The infant is being hand-raised by veterinary staff due to complications and an unreliable parenting history. Animal care staff feel this is the best way to ensure that the little baby will grow up healthy and safely. The newborn is now under the constant care of veterinary technician Donna Todd.  She is being fed half an ounce of formula every 2 to 3 hours, 24 hours a day.  Visitors can see the new White-handed Gibbon weekdays at the 11:00 a.m. feeding at the Vet Hospital nursery window.

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4 gibbon Photo credit: Jackson Zoo / Chris Todd

The Jackson Zoo houses a breeding pair of White-handed Gibbons as part of the Species Survival Plan (SSP). An SSP is a cooperative breeding program between zoos accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. The programs help to coordinate breeding between zoos to keep the captive population healthy and genetically diverse. This management is especially vital for the conservation of species that are threatened in the wild. 

White-handed Gibbons are listed as Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Living in the evergreen forests of Indonesia and Malaysia, the White-handed Gibbon eats mainly fruits and leaves. Because they consume both the fruit and the seeds, these small apes are important seed dispersers, with some plant species relying solely on the Gibbon for dispersal. Currently, the main threats to the wild Gibbon population is hunting and habitat loss. 

Gibbon Conservation Center Celebrates Birth of Critically Endangered Species

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The Gibbon Conservation Center in southern California just shared with us some photos of a newly-arrived Northern White-cheeked Gibbon! The buff colored gibbon holding the baby is the mother and the dark one is the father. Babies are born with light-colored hair, which will darken with maturity if the gibbon is male.

The center has welcomed six new infants in the last 18 months, a sure sign that the residents are comfortable and well cared-for. The gibbons live in family groups, adults and offspring, giving visitors the opportunity to observe family-oriented behavioral patterns, infant care and development. Though in captivity, these creatures are not tame: they are focused on their families, claiming their territories and on finding the food that is provided for them several times a day. 

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5 gibbonPhoto credits: Gibbon Conservation Center

The Gibbon Conservation Center focuses on the study and conservation of gibbons - small apes from the forests of South, East, and Southeast Asia. The center participates in the Species Survival Plan for Northern White-cheeked Gibbons, a captive breeding program that coordinates breeding of genetically diverse individuals between zoos. The Northern White-cheeked Gibbon is now extinct in southern Yunnan, China and is nearly extinct in northern Vietnam, and Critically Endangered in Laos. There are more Northern White-cheeked Gibbons in North American and European zoos than in the wild in China and northern Vietnam, where fewer than 500 are left. This gibbon species is the rarest primate in the wild currently in a successful captive breeding program.

See more photos after the fold!

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UPDATE: Baby Gibbon Reaches 2-Month Milestone


A rare Javan Gibbon baby at the Greensboro Science Center celebrated his two-month birthday last week, thanks to the dedicated efforts of staff and volunteers. 



Photo Credit:  Greensboro Science Center

Born on April 29, the infant Gibbon was discovered abandoned by his mother, Isabella, as described in an earlier Zooborns post.  Despite attempts to reunite mother and baby, staff and volunteers have been hand-rearing the baby 24 hours a day.

Because baby Gibbons cling to their mothers day and night, zoo keepers wear a special furry vest to allow the male baby, named Duke, to cling to them.  Duke receives formula from a bottle.  Zoo keepers spend the night with Duke so he is never alone.

Zoo keepers bring Duke to see his mother, and, although they are separated by a fence, the two vocalize and touch each other.  The zoo staff plans to reunite the Gibbon family within a few months.

Javan Gibbons are endangered on the island of Java in Indonesia, their only wild home.  Only about 4,000 of these apes, also called Silvery Gibbons, remain in the wild.  Their forest habitat is under intense pressure from the island’s burgeoning human population. 

See more pictures of Duke below the fold.

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