The Javan gibbon baby born at the zoo on April 16 is growing more adventuresome by the day, thanks to excellent care by his mother Dieng – and perhaps some encouragement by his rambunctious big brother, two-year-old Jaka.
The male baby, who has not yet been named, spends most of his time clinging to Dieng’s belly, but keepers have noticed more activity lately. “We’ve seen him reach out to grab a branch once in a while,” said zoo keeper Kristin Sliger. “But he’s still too little to move around on his own.”
Jaka, on the other hand, is always on the move. During a recent photo shoot he rarely sat still, preferring to leap and swing among the branches and vines in the tree-filled exhibit in the Indonesian Rain Forest.
Javan gibbons are rare – so rare that one other United States zoo exhibits this rare species. When Jaka was born in 2011, he was the first Javan gibbon born in any United States zoo. Dieng, her mate Lionel, and their two youngsters are the largest group of Javan gibbons in a U.S. zoo.
“We are honored to be one of only two zoos in to exhibit this endangered species,” said Zoo Animal Curator Mark Weldon. “With this species, we can make a significant impact on conservation.”
UPDATE July 1, 2013: The baby has a name! It’s Kado, which is an Indonesian word meaning “gift.”
Click on the photos below to enlarge.