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African Cheetah cubs

Lar gibbon baby sets playful mood at the National Zoo

9 February 2012

The recent birth of a Lar gibbon youngster has created much excitement at the National Zoological Gardens of South Africa. The youngster, a female named Baboo, is now about three months old and is proving to be quite popular with the zoo's visitors as she is becoming more boisterous by the day.

The National Zoo houses four Lar gibbons - one adult male, one sub-adult male, one adult female and the new baby.

The Lar gibbon, also known as the white-handed gibbon, is listed as endangered by the world conservation union's IUCN Red Data List. The bushmeat trade, the pet industry and habitat destruction in their natural home regions of southwest China to Thailand and Burma, along the Malay Peninsula and northwest Sumatra are all causes for the decline in Lar gibbon numbers in the wild.

Gibbons are true brachiators, meaning they are able to propel themselves from tree to tree by swinging by their arms. Using this mode of transportation, the Lar gibbon has curved fingers, elongated hands, extremely long arms and relatively short legs. Gibbons, like their ape cousins, do not have functional tails.

Gibbons reach full maturity at the age of eight years and have an average life expectancy of approximately 25 years in the wild.

For further information, please contact Craig Allenby on craig@nzg.ac.za or +27 12 339 2770.


 
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