New rare baby siamang gibbon makes Canberra zoo debut

David Tuckwell 11 April 2017


A baby siamang gibbon, an endangered species from south Asia, made its public debut at the National Zoo & Aquarium last week, delighting both visitors and activists trying to protect the species.

The one-month-old was hard to see, however, as it remained very close to its mother at all times.

“Everyone is very excited, it’s great watching them and we can’t wait for the baby to start swinging from the ropes like mum and dad,” said primate keeper Emilia Clark.

“[The mother] was protective over the baby at first but now [the] dad, Cian, is allowed to get closer and he helps to groom the baby. With this species, the older the infant gets, it will spend a lot more time with Dad.”

Siamang Gibbons are a new species to the National Zoo & Aquarium in Canberra and are so rare that only a handful of collections in Australasia successfully breed the species.

The gender of the baby has yet to be determined, but this is a good sign as mum, Tunku, is spending lots of time bonding with her baby and forming a close family unit.

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