Endangered gibbon baby born at Prague Zoo

News

22. 11. 2021


On Saturday night, the fourth baby silvery gibbon to be born in the Czech Republic arrived at Prague Zoo. The female, Alang Alang, brought the baby into the world after a seven-month pregnancy. She takes care of the infant in an exemplary manner, while the male, Flip, looks after the family. Estimates put this rare primate at just under 2,000 adults in the wild.

The two-day-old silvery gibbon baby is the only new arrival of this species in the Czech Republic this year. The photo is from Sunday, a day after the baby was born. Author: Miroslav Bobek, Prague Zoo. The two-day-old silvery gibbon baby is the only new arrival of this species in the Czech Republic this year. The photo is from Sunday, a day after the baby was born. Author: Miroslav Bobek, Prague Zoo.

“The silvery gibbon is an endangered species living solely on the Indonesian island of Java. It is only kept in small numbers in captivity, with just nine zoos in Europe that have a total of approximately 50 individuals,” explained Miroslav Bobek, Prague Zoo’s director.

The Prague troop of silvery gibbons has now grown to four members. As with other gibbon species, this one is monogamous. They form small family groups, which is why the baby’s older sibling, Abu-abu, who was born in 2018, lives with his parents.

The female, Alang Alang, and the male, Flip, are both sixteen years old and came to Prague Zoo in 2014. A year later they gave birth to the first ever silvery gibbon baby in the history of Czech and Slovak zoos. Called Silver Arrow, he is now six years old and this year he went to the zoo in Halle, Germany, as a future breeding male. The baby born on Saturday is the Prague breeding pair’s third offspring.

“The infant is doing well, the female, Alang Alang, is already an experienced mother and takes good care of it. Immediately after birth she cleaned it, kept it on her belly and nursed it. With regards to the fact that this species has no marked sexual dimorphism, we will only know its sex in a few years, after it has matured,” said Martin Vojáček, head keeper for primates.

Visitors to Prague Zoo can observe the attractive silvery primates on one of the islands within the Water World and Monkey Islands exhibit in the lower part of the zoo’s grounds.

Prague Zoo has been breeding silvery gibbons since 2014, and, in the words of the keepers, the breeding pair – the female Alang Alang (pictured) and the male Flip - immediately found a soft spot for each other, with the first infant being born a year after they were paired. Author: Petr Hamerník, Prague Zoo.Prague Zoo has been breeding silvery gibbons since 2014, and, in the words of the keepers, the breeding pair – the female Alang Alang (pictured) and the male Flip - immediately found a soft spot for each other, with the first infant being born a year after they were paired. Author: Petr Hamerník, Prague Zoo.