Birth of a buff-cheeked gibbon

The buff-cheeked gibbon family (Nomascus gabriellae) has recently expanded with the birth of a baby on May 20th. It now gathers 4 individuals: the 15-year-old breeding pair, a young male born in 2012 and the newborn whose sex is yet unknown. The baby, who is doing well, firmly holds onto its mother's belly.





There are 19 species of gibbons divided in 4 genera: Symphalangus (the siamang), Nomascus, Hoolock et Hylobates. Buff-cheeked gibbons belong to the Nomascus genera that comprises 7 species. All the species of this genera are sexually chromatic: males are predominantly black while females are buffy-colored.
 
Buff-cheeked gibbon lives in forests of south Vietnam and southeastern Cambodia. The female gives birth to a single young with a bright yellow coat after a gestation period of 7 months. Around 6-month of age, the baby's coat starts to go darker. It will become entirely black if it's a  male and will revert to a yellowish pelage around the maturity age if it's a female.
 
Gibbons feed mainly on fruits, leaves and flowers. Male and female form a duet who sings in unison to mark their territory, to advertise the strength of their pair-bond or to report the presence of a predator.
 
Their locomotion mode (called brachiation) is truly amazing. High speeds include an aerial phase during which neither hand is in contact with the branch.
 
Listed as "endangered" on the IUCN Red List, the species is threatened by habitat loss and hunting for illegal pet trade. Each year, dozens of gibbons are caught in the wild and sold to unscrupulous zoos or private in Southeast Asia. The authorities seize many animals illegally kept but unfortunately only a few of them will be released. Poaching is a curse for gibbons.