Hellabrunn is excited about a new arrival for our star gymnasts, the endangered Javan Gibbons.
The Javan Gibbon mum swings from branch to branch with a small package on board. Who is hiding behind that bundle? Long, thin arms and a delicate head peek cheekily out: Hellabrunn’s baby Javan Gibbon is exploring the world!
The baby arrived after a pregnancy lasting seven months on 19.08.2012 and – well-protected by mother, Pangrango (15 years old) - is entrancing Hellabrunn’s visitors. Mother Pangrango, her son Flip (7) and two daughters, Isabell (4) and Kim (2) are delighted with the baby of the family. The kids tumble agilely around mum and baby. Neither the Gibbons nor the zoo keepers know yet whether it’s a baby boy or girl – the little one is keeping its sex secret at the moment.
“Munich’s Javan Gibbons are really very special; this endangered species of primate is only to be found in one German zoo, here at Hellabrunn. The birth of a fourth baby increases the family now to six members. We play an important role in breeding and we are making a significant contribution to the conservation of Javan Gibbons. We are very proud of this,” said zoo director, Dr. Andreas Knieriem.
Javan Gibbons only live in the wild on the Indonesian island of Java. They belong to some of the most threatened primates and are listed as an endangered species on the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) Red List. It is estimated that there are fewer than 2,000 worldwide. Their long arms are noteworthy at two and a half times the length of their torso. Using these arms and the so-called brachiation method, they are able to swing confidently across distances of up to ten metres in the tree-tops. Like other species of Gibbon, their very loud singing is characteristic and serves to identify their territory.
Once a Javan Gibbon pair mates, they live together in a life-long, monogamous relationship in a family group comprising their not yet sexually mature children. Peter and Pangrango are model parents when it comes to childcare. Both parents look after the children equally. The Javan Gibbon baby which has almost no fur is being suckled by its mother. At only a few weeks old the little one is already testing out solid foods. Javan Gibbons are vegetarian and eat mostly fruit, vegetables, salad or foliage. When young animals reach sexual maturity the father banishes their sons and the mother banishes their daughters from the group. In captivity Javan Gibbons live to about 50 years old.