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BABY GIBBON MAKES PUBLIC DEBUT!

On Saturday, September 4th, a critically endangered white-cheeked gibbon was born at Zoo Miami!  It is only the second white-cheeked gibbon born in the zoo’s history.  The 18 year old mother’s name is “Millie” who also is the mother of the first baby that was born in August of 2013.  This is the first offspring for the 9 year old father named, “Cuong.”  Though there has been no confirmation as to the sex of the baby, early observations indicate that it is a male.

The infant, along with its mother and father, made its public debut yesterday for only about an hour while their normal exhibit mates, mother and daughter Orangutans, were kept in their night house to ensure that there was no interaction that might harm the baby.  Millie kept the baby very close to her chest the entire time while visiting several areas within the habitat and was also observed nursing it.

These endangered primates are naturally found in the canopy of tropical forests in Southeast Asia where they feed on a variety of fruits, leaves, and occasional insects.  They are monogamous animals known for their high pitched territorial calls that can be heard over great distances in the forest.  They use their extremely long arms to acrobatically swing through the trees and contrary to popular belief, are not monkeys, but rather lesser apes, due in part to the lack of a tail.

The plan is for the infant and its parents to initially make limited appearances on exhibit for short amounts of time by themselves. Once the staff feels that they have acclimated well to being on their habitat, they will be slowly introduced to the Orangutans which they normally share the space with until zoo staff feels that they have adjusted properly and can remain outside, along with the Orangutans, for the entire day.

Photo by: Ron Magill

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