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First baby gibbon born in Paradise

PUBLISHED: 17:22 31 January 2012 | UPDATED: 20:59 20 February 2013

First baby gibbon born in Paradise

First baby gibbon born in Paradise

Paradise Wildlife Park in Broxbourne has had a surprise new arrival this week with the birth of an incredibly cute and healthy Lar gibbon baby.

Paradise Wildlife Park in Broxbourne has had a surprise new arrival this week with the birth of an incredibly cute and healthy Lar gibbon baby.


Gibbon babies are able to cling to their mothers hair soon after birth and can hang on even when their mother is swinging through the trees at great speed. They do this for around a year, after which dad takes over and cares for the baby until it is approximately two years old.


Lar gibbons are endangered, with numbers now measured in the mere tens of thousands. They are already disappearing from certain parts of the world, with the last one spotted in China in 1988.


The species took another big blow late last year when prolific gibbon conservationist, Alan Mootnick, sadly died. So it is not only this new baby, but in fact, the entire species that is clinging on for life.


But all is not lost. Thanks to the ongoing breeding programme at Paradise Wildlife Park and other zoos around the world, a new generation is being created, bringing hope for the survival of the species.

Head Keeper, Yianna Cooling said, We are working hard to make our contribution to conservation with our programme of breeding endangered animals both here and at our sister park the Wildlife Heritage Foundation.


'It's a real pat on the back for the team here, that our gibbons are very happy and feel able to breed.


Gibbons are unusual because they have a ball and socket joint in their wrists, much like we do in our shoulders. This enables them to swing freely through the trees on their very long arms. Females are usually pregnant for around seven months before giving birth. Only one Lar gibbon was born in the UK in 2011.


Section Leader of Primates, Steve Goodwin added, This is the first baby for Mugwai, but she is proving to be a really good mum. We haven't been able to get close enough to sex the baby yet, and we're excited to find out if it is a boy or a girl.


Paradise Wildlife Park will be running a competition to name the baby and also to help raise funds for the conservation projects.


If you would like to participate and for more details, you can visit their website www.pwpark.com.


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