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Zoo Buddy: White-handed gibbons

Published: May. 11, 2021 at 9:28 AM CDT|Updated: May. 11, 2021 at 9:30 AM CDT
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MONROE, La. (KNOE) - In our Zoo Buddy segment this week, we’re meeting the white-handed gibbons at the Louisiana Purchase Gardens & Zoo.

The zoo has multiple multiple white-handed gibbons, including one pair of them on their own island that you can see from the boat ride.

“All gibbons are found in Asia, these guys are found in Southeast Asia,” says Jeanne Baumann. “They are normally found in the rainforests and the bamboo forests.”

According to Animal Diversity Web, a service through the University of Michigan’s Museum of Zoology, the gibbons are listed as an endangered species on the IUCN Red List. They say it’s largely due to the illegal pet trade and deforestation.

“These are not monkeys they are lesser apes, they fall right under the orangutan, and that would be the siamang gibbon being the largest,” explains Baumann. “These are white-handed and they’re commonly found in zoos. They are monogamous in the wild, they live up to 25 in the wild and sometimes up to 35-40 in captivity.”

She says they usually live in family units.

“The difference between lesser apes and great apes, great apes make nests that they sleep in, the lesser apes, all the gibbons, they don’t make nests and they’re a lot smaller and they sleep in the trees with their knees bent to their chest and wrap their arms around themselves and bury their head,” says Baumann.

They also have another pair of white-handed gibbons off the island on exhibit in the main part of the zoo.

They’re open every day of the week from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and you can call them at (318) 329-2400 for more information.

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