May 6, 2024 at 12:36 pm

Group Of Captive Siamang Gibbons Sing In Celebration After Witnessing A Live Birth

by Trisha Leigh

Source: Shutterstock

A healthy new baby is always cause for celebration, but doubly so in this case, because the siamang gibbon is an endangered species.

And the special moment didn’t seem to be lost on the other gibbons, either, who “sang” happily around their new member.

It was March 15th, 2024 at The Virginia Zoo in Norfolk. The zookeepers arrived to find that one of their endangered siamang gibbons had given birth.

And they didn’t have to be able to speak monkey to understand that the others were happy about it, too.

The baby’s parents, Malana and Bali, are a close-knit pair, along with the rest of their familial unit.

“While zookeepers suspected Malana could be pregnant due to recent behavioral and physical changes, they were not able to know for certain without extensive testing.”

Siamang gibbons are known for their song-like vocalizations that come from their bulbous, pinkish throats.

“The whole family has been singing together, a behavior which helps solidify family and social bonds.”

The gibbons are native to tropical rainforests in Malaysia, Thailand, and Sumatra. Their population has decreased by 50% over the past half-century as humans have decimated up to 80% of their natural habitats.

We are largely using the resources for logging and mining, as well as the construction of coffee, palm oil, and rubber tree plantations.

This is Malana’s fourth birth, and at 35, she’s an experienced but aging mother.

Source: Shutterstock

Fathers play an important parenting role in their culture as well, and both Bali and the baby’s older brother, Lovejoy, have been calm and curious, “taking turns grooming Malana.”

Emily Snicker, the zoo’s director of communications, echoes the gibbons’ excitement.

“The birth of any endangered species is always a cause for celebration. We are thrilled to see the group bonding and supporting each other, and we feel privileged to have a front-row seat as this baby grows into an energetic young siamang.”

If this isn’t the most charming thing I’ve read today, I don’t know what would be.

Everybody loves a new baby.

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