Mogo Zoo welcomes a rare baby gibbon

MONKEY AND MUM: This silvery gibbon born last month at Mogo Zoo spends much of his time clinging to mum Layar.HIS birth at Mogo Zoo near Batemans Bay was an extremely rare event and the silvery gibbon has been welcomed by staff, who say their zoo is only the second in Australia to exhibit and successfully breed the species in captivity.The quest is now on to name the baby gibbon following his birth in the early hours of May 7 to mother Layar after a long and arduous labour.It is Layar’s second-born in less than three years with both her offspring having the same dad, Arjuna.Mogo staff said the parents in the five weeks since his birth had bonded extremely well with the pint-sized newborn.Keepers continue to witness human-like displays of affection between the pair and its young and are delighted with the gibbon’s progress.“Layar and Arjuna are certainly proving a lot more relaxed in their parenting approach second time around. We’re optimistic that this pair will maintain an active role in the global breeding program for this species,” said primate keeper Sophie Miller.Mogo Zoo houses one of only six successful breeding pairs of this species in accredited zoos in the world, including Perth Zoo.The zoo hopes his birth will play a modest but essential role in securing the future of this endangered primate.The silvery gibbon exclusively inhabits rainforest on the island of Java in Indonesia and the number remaining in the wild is estimated to be between 400 and 4000. The captive population outside of Indonesia has dropped to around 70.Habitat destruction due to deforestation as a result of logging and clearing for palm oil crops are said to be the main factors responsible for the diminishing number of silvery gibbons.Female gibbons are also known for their haunting call in the wild.The breeding pair arrived at Mogo in October 2008 from Perth Zoo although Layar originally emigrated from Howletts Zoo in England.This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.