Assiniboine Park Zoo welcomes adorable new gibbon addition

The Assiniboine Park Zoo has a brand new, adorable arrival.

The Zoo announced Monday that Maya and Samson, a pair of white-handed gibbons, had their first baby earlier this month.

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The parents, who were the first residents of the zoo’s new gibbon habitat in 2017, were matched as part of a species survival plan from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

The baby – zoo staff have yet to determine its sex or give it a name – had been with its parents in an off-exhibit holding area since birth, but the family has since been moved back to the indoor gibbon habitat.

The baby's parents, Maya and Samson.

The baby's parents, Maya and Samson.

Assiniboine Park Conservancy

Although the habitat is currently closed to visitors, the first chance for the public to see the new arrival will be Thursday morning.

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“Maya and Samson appeared to be a really good match right from the start, and we have been looking forward to this possibility for some time,” said Grant Furniss, the zoo’s senior director of zoological operations.

“This is very exciting news for our staff, volunteers and visitors.”

White-handed gibbons are an endangered species, mainly found in tropical rainforests in southeast Asia.

They’re small, tailless apes who are among the fastest of all primates, said the zoo.

The gibbon family has deep roots in Winnipeg. Maya, the mother, was born at the zoo in 2011, and her parents – Mel and Manju – were longtime residents before being moved to Ontario when the old monkey house was decommissioned.

The new baby’s paternal grandfather, Chan, was also born at the zoo in 1992 before moving to Edmonton.

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