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Critically endangered white-cheek gibbon born at Adelaide Zoo

Critically endangered white-cheek gibbon born at Adelaide Zoo
April 17, 2014

A critically endangered white-cheek gibbon has been born at Adelaide Zoo, only the third born there in the zoo's 130 years of operation.

White-cheeked gibbons are born golden in colour and slowly turn black but the females turn golden again when they reach maturity at about five.

The newborn's gender might not be known for months until keepers are able to check by getting the young gibbon away from its mother for a short time.

Senior primate keeper Jodie Ellen says Viet and Remus again are proving to be capable parents and the newborn's sister Nhu is fascinated by the latest addition to the family.

Ellen told the ABC "it's heart-warming to see both parents develop a strong bond with the baby.

"Mum and bub have a good grip on each other, which is important considering they live high up in the tree tops."

She says older sister Nhu has been paying kind attention to the baby, adding "Nhu will also play a very hands-on role in the upbringing of the new baby. Watching her mum care for the baby is going to be a valuable life lesson and ensure Nhu knows how to properly care for a baby of her own one day."

Adelaide Zoo says there are just 18 of the gibbons across five zoos of the Australasian region and the species is in serious decline in its natural habitat in Laos, Vietnam and southern China because of poaching and deforestation.

Click here to visit the Adelaide Zoo website.


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