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Baby siamang is the center of attention at this Tel Aviv zoo

May 6, 2015 | Latest Photo Prev Next
Siamang gibbon swinging on rope with babySiamang gibbon swinging on rope with babyPhoto: Jack Guez / AFP/Getty Images
May 6, 2015 | Latest Photo

At the Ramat Gan Safari in Tel Aviv, zookeepers have had a pleasant surprise: they've discovered that one of their siamang gibbons, Jambi, gave birth to a baby – over a month ago!

On May 4, safari staff got their first clear view of a baby siamang hanging onto its mother. Because the animals live in an open-air environment that mimics their natural habitats, no one had caught a glimpse of the baby until now.

Siamang gibbon baby snuggles with its momAn affectionate mother, Jambi will take special care of her little one for the next three years. (Photo: Jack Guez/AFP/Getty Images)

Another reason zookeepers had not spotted the little one was that it hugs its mother so tight, constantly hidden among her shaggy fur.

Siamangs are fruit-loving arboreal primates, ranging throughout Thailand, Malaysia and Sumatra. Gibbons are known for their odd throat pouches that allow them to make rumbling bellows throughout the forest. Siamang pairs will sing impressive duets with one another, especially early on in their relationships. In their natural habitat, gibbons usually call out mid-morning, staking out their territories among the branches. Since the siamang is the largest of all gibbons, they make quite a vocal impact!

Siamangs live in family groups with a mother, a father and babies. Siamang offspring stick around for quite a while, with mom and dad carrying them around in the early years. They are expert communicators with one another and they often groom and play, which strengthens the family bond. Siamangs are known to make emphatic gestures and even facial expressions.

The typical day in a siamang family starts with a breakfast of fruit, a bit of grooming and a nice long song. They rest most of the afternoon until they're hungry again for dinner, and then it's time to get the kids ready for bed with another grooming session.

Between the ages of 6 and 8, young gibbons are ready to start their independent lives, leaving home for good. For now, Jambi's little one will continue to hold on tight and enjoy many a midday cuddle session.

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Related Topics: Animals