This February brought a wonderful surprise to the Assiniboine Park Zoo. A tiny baby white-handed gibbon, the first to be born at the Zoo since we opened our new gibbon habitat in 2017.
Our veterinary and animal welfare teams ensure this baby gibbon, and every animal at the Zoo, stay healthy, happy, and strong. This includes everything from maternal and pediatric care to regular check-ups, along with specialized dietary plans, positive reinforcement training, and more.
The baby gibbon and its family will enjoy a lifetime of care at the Zoo. Their specialized diet alone requires the collaboration of a team of animal care specialists to ensure they have just the right mix of foods, which include a variety of fruits, veggies, nuts, and other specifically designed treats like high-fibre biscuits.
Veterinary staff are also on call 24/7 to attend to the gibbon family and all of our animals. They perform routine physical and dental exams, specialized procedures, and even ongoing treatments like physiotherapy right here at the Zoo.
Caring for the animals who call the Zoo home is a huge undertaking. You can make a big difference in the health and well-being of our animals by supporting your Zoo.
Did You Know?
- White-handed gibbons are among the fastest of all primates, using their very long arms to swing effortlessly among the branches.
- The species of small tailless apes has soft, thick fur that varies in colour from black to pale fawn (Maya and Samson have black fur).
- Gibbons are endangered due to habitat loss and hunting.
- In the wild, gibbons are found mainly in tropical rainforests in Southeast Asia.
- The Assiniboine Park Zoo has a successful history with breeding gibbons. Maya was born here at the Zoo in January 2011. Her partner Samson’s father was also born at Assiniboine Park Zoo, in 1992.
- At birth, gibbons weigh only about 300-400 grams, about the same as a can of tomato soup.