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Endangered White-cheeked Gibbon Born at Chicago's Lincoln Park Zoo [Video]

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Aug 27, 2013 08:36 AM EDT
female Northern White-cheeked Gibbon
A captive female Northern White-cheeked Gibbon (Nomascus leucogenys), also known as a "White-Cheeked Gibbon" due to the prominent white colouring on the male of the species. This example is from the Adelaide Zoo in South Australia.

Burma, a White-cheeked Gibbon from Lincoln Park Zoo, has given birth to a baby. (not pictured) (Photo : Bilby via Wikimedia commons )

The Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago recently welcomed a new baby white-cheeked gibbon. The baby was born on August 16 and is the second offspring for father Caruso and mother Burma, the zoo announced recently.

The yet-to-be-named baby's gender isn't known. Zoo officials said that the baby is bonding well with its mother. The baby has an older brother named Sai who is nearly three years old. White-cheeked gibbon infants have golden fur just like the mothers. After a few years, the males lose their tanned fur and turn dark with white cheeks while females remain golden-colored.

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"Burma is holding the baby close and showing every sign of being a great mom.The youngster is bright, alert, and clinging well," said Maureen Leahy, curator of Primates at the zoo.

Visitors can see Burma and her family at the Helen C. Brach Primate House from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m, the zoo said.

"The baby may be hard to spot for the first few weeks, as he or she is being held tightly by mom. But it likely will not be long before the baby starts exploring the habitat with his or her big brother," said Leahy in statement.

                      

White-cheeked gibbon (Nomascus leucogenys) is an endangered species of small apes found in Southeast Asia. They have long-arms that help them swing from tree to tree. Main threats to the species' survival include poaching, hunting and habitat loss . According to IUCN, these gibbons haven't been seen in China since 1990s. Small populations of the species live in Laos and Vietnam.

White-cheeked gibbons mate for life and live in close families and the young ones stay in the family till they reach sexual maturity. The female of the family usually takes care of the offspring on her own. According to Leahy Caruso and Sai are keeping their distance from Burma and the baby to let them bond with each other.

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