White-Cheeked Gibbon Baby

Lincoln Park Zoo Welcomes Rare White-Cheeked Gibbon Baby

(Chicago – August 26, 2013)  The baby boom is in full swing at Lincoln Park Zoo’s Helen C. Brach Primate House, with the birth of a bouncing baby white-cheeked gibbon. The exciting new arrival follows the birth of a Francois langur just over a month ago.

Born on August 16, the gibbon is the fourth offspring for father Caruso and mother Burma, who are recommended to breed by the Gibbon Species Survival Program (SSP). The baby has yet to be sexed or named and joins older brother, Sai, who will turn three years old in January.

“Burma is holding the baby close and showing every sign of being a great mom,” said Curator of Primates Maureen Leahy. “The youngster is bright, alert, and clinging well.”

According to Leahy, Caruso and Sai are keeping their distance to allow mom and infant to bond. Gibbons, who are thought to mate for life, remain in family groups until offspring reach sexual maturity and migrate out on their own. Unlike other primates who might share the workload associated with an infant, white-cheeked gibbon mothers are the primary caretakers of their offspring.

White-cheeked gibbons are a species of small ape native to Southeast Asia and are endangered due to habitat loss and poaching. They have extremely long arms that are perfect for hanging and swinging from branch to branch. At birth the infants are born with golden tan fur like their mothers. They will darken to black during their first two years; males will remain black with signature white cheeks and females will eventually turn tan once more.

“The baby may be hard to spot for the first few weeks, as he or she is being held tightly by mom. But it likely will not be long before the baby starts exploring the habitat with his or her big brother,” said Leahy.

Burma, her baby, and the whole gibbon family can be seen daily at the Helen C. Brach Primate House from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Media Contacts:       

Sharon Dewar                     

(312) 742-2246                    

Tiffany Ruddle
(312) 742-5791


Lincoln Park Zoo, a historic Chicago landmark founded in 1868, is dedicated to connecting people with nature by providing a free, family-oriented wildlife experience. A leader in conservation science both globally and locally, the zoo exemplifies the highest quality animal care and educational outreach. The not-for-profit zoo, managed by The Lincoln Park Zoological Society, is a member-supported organization and one of the nation’s only free, privately managed zoos. For more information, call 312 -742-2000 or visit www.lpzoo.org


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Photos and Video credited to Todd Rosenberg / Lincoln Park Zoo August 20, 2013