Securing a shared future for wildlife and people

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Photo by Rick Stevens
White-cheeked Gibbons Kayak and Nelly

2015 has been dubbed the Year of the Gibbon by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). To help raise awareness of the Gibbon's plight, keepers at Taronga Zoo will be hosting special talks so visitors have the opportunity to learn more about these endangered primates. Days and times will vary, so head down to our White-cheeked Gibbons to find out when you can catch the next talk.

Gibbons are amazing animals, known for their melodious calls which can be heard for kilometres. These 'songs' are one of the ways Gibbons communicate and are part of their courtship as well as guarding their territory.

Unfortunately, due to habitat loss, Gibbons are struggling to survive in the wild and are the most endangered ape on the planet. Numbers of White-cheeked Gibbons have decreased by 80% in the last 45 years, classifying this beautiful species as critically endangered.

Facts you may not know about Gibbons

  • Gibbons are apes, not monkeys. An easy way to tell the difference between a monkey and an ape is to look for a tai - Gibbons, like all other apes, don't have tails.
  • As adults the male White-cheeked Gibbons are black and the females are blonde. 
  • All baby White-cheeked Gibbons are born blonde, the same colour as our female Nelly, then both sexes turn black at two years of age. When the females reach adulthood they turn back to blonde.
  • Once White-cheeked Gibbons reach sexual maturity and find a mate, they remain bonded to that individual animal making them a monogamous primate, unlike other primates that live in harems like Gorillas, or matriarch societies like Ring-tailed Lemurs.

 

 

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