Mogo animal park celebrates the birth of an endangered silver gibbon

The Mogo animal park has welcomed baby Telo into the family. Photo: Chad Staples.

Visitors to Mogo Wildlife Park feasted on last weekend as the zoo’s female silver gibbon, Layar, showed off her newborn baby.

The zoo’s newest addition, Telo (pronounced T-ee-lo), was born without any complications on Friday, May 28.

The fact that mom and baby were outside in their enclosure on Saturday showed just how bonded they’ve been, says Mogo Zookeeper Chad Staples.

“She’s a very confident mom,” he says.

Mother and baby silver gibbons, Layar and Telo, cuddling

Layar and Telo hug each other on their second day together. Photo: Chad Staples.

“She has full access to a bedroom and can sit in it under a heater, but she chooses to sit in the sun.”

This is Layar and Arjuna’s fifth child and the older sisters of Telo, 6-year-old Jawa, and 3-year-old Kambali, who share the same enclosure, were curious to meet her.

“It’s really important for the older one, in particular, who might be the next breeder, to see Mom doing all of this,” says Chad.

Silver gibbons are the most endangered species in Mogo Wildlife Park and there is only one other institution in Australia that breeds them.

Chad and his team soon hope to pair Layar’s eldest daughter with an imported male.

“Once you have a pair bonded, they will continue to breed,” he says. “One of the biggest issues is making sure you have forever homes for their offspring and pairs for them so they can continue to be successful.”

Telo, which means “mountain” in Java, Indonesia, will stay with her mother until she is seven years old.

Seeing Layar cuddling and watching his newborn baby last weekend reminded visitors how much alike we are as humans.

The hand of the silver gibbon

Telo’s long arms and fingers are made for climbing and swinging between trees. Photo: Chad Staples.

“Primates are close to us in many ways and have emotions far beyond so many other species,” says Chad. “You can see the connection between mom and baby instantly and everyone who looks at them starts to get gluttonous.”

While Telo currently looks very pink because her hair is still thin and light, Chad says it will thicken and darken very quickly.

Visitors can also notice the length of Telo’s arms in relation to his body. Chad says they are designed to climb and swing between trees.

“Gibbons are so strong and designed to live in treetops in rainforests,” he says. “They are adapted to swing in trees and that happens from birth.

“Telo is already using hers to hold mum as she moves around the pen, but they look long and lanky on a newborn,” says Chad.

Telo will hold onto mum for the next six months – just like a human baby – so visitors can enjoy all the cuteness during the June long weekend and school holidays.

Original article published by Hannah Sparks on About Regional.

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