Paignton Zoo celebrates birth of endangered pileated gibbon

23-11-21 Baby Pileated Gibbon with its mother- Paignton Zoo
The baby holding onto its mother. Credit: Paignton Zoo

Paignton Zoo is celebrating the birth of an endangered pileated gibbon.

In an announcement today (November 23), the Devon zoo said the baby was born on September 26 but is yet to be named.

It is the third child of parents Shukdi and Hantu, who have two sons, five-year-old Sunan and two-year-old Nimith, who all live at the zoo.

Now a family of five, the gibbons will be part of a breeding programme for the species.

It comes as the species has seen a reduction of more than 50% over the past 45 years due to habitat loss with wild forests they inhabit being converted into farmland.

This has left around 47,000 mature pileated gibbons left today.

The species has reduced by more than 50% because of habitat loss. Credit: Paignton Zoo

In Thailand, all populations of pileated gibbon are protected, but hunting for the species remains uncontrolled.

However, habitat loss is an imminent threat to Cambodian populations due to a lack of protected areas.

Gibbons are also very agile and can swing through the trees at speeds up to 35mph. Credit: Paignton Zoo

They can only be found in tropical forests and dense evergreens of southeast Thailandand northwest Cambodia.

Most of their diet consists of fruit, however they occasionally eat leaves and insects too.

Males of the species have entirely black fur, while females and young have white–grey fur, with black on their heads and stomachs.