Pause that cat video!
A new white-cheeked gibbon was just born at the Bronx Zoo.
The new baby, whose name has not yet been announced, was born to 35-year-old mother Christine (also known as “Kicks”), and 15-year-old father Milton. The adorable critter entered the world on November 24. For Kicks, this is baby number 11; for Milton, it’s the first. We’re no ape whisperers, but judging by the video released by the Wildlife Conservation Society, (see below) Kicks and Milton look pretty happy with their adorable new baby.
But they’re not the only excited ones. This recent birth will mark the first white-cheeked gibbon born at the Bronx Zoo since 2000—a welcome addition to the world’s dwindling gibbon population (white-cheeked gibbons are a critically endangered species). The Bronx Zoo has a long history of gibbon breeding in cooperation with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Species Survival Plan, which aims to improve the genetic viability of endangered animals in zoos.
For those of you new to white-cheeked gibbons, these small apes are native to the forests of Vietnam, Laos and China. They grow to about two feet tall, weigh around 13 pounds and have really nice fuzzy-looking coats (females’ fur is mostly a buff color, while males are mostly black).
But don’t make any guesses about the new baby’s sex; all baby white-cheeked gibbons are born buff, and then gradually turn black over the course of two years. Once they’re two, their coats either stay black (if they’re male), or return to their original buff (if they’re female). The Bronx Zoo has yet to release the sex of the new gibbon, so stay tuned.
For now, let’s send our congratulations to the beautiful new family! But seriously—who knew baby gibbons were so cute?
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