Extremely rare silvery gibbon born at Isle of Man wildlife park

Extremely rare silvery gibbon born at Isle of Man wildlife park
The extremely rare silvery gibbon, who has not yet been named, was welcomed to the Curraghs Wildlife Park on the Isle of Man (Stephen Corran/PicsByCorraste/PA)

An extremely rare silvery gibbon has been born in a “very significant” moment for a wildlife park on the Isle of Man.

The first pictures of the newest arrival to Curraghs Wildlife Park show one of the endangered primates, named for their silvery-grey fur, nestled in its mother’s lap as she feeds on fruit and tends to her new baby.

The yet-to-be-named young gibbon was welcomed to the park on September 11, joining its brother and sister, Ffinlo and Aalin, who were born in 2017 and 2020 respectively.

The baby gibbon clinging to its mother as she walks across a bridge at the wildlife parkThe baby silvery gibbon was welcomed to Curraghs Wildlife Park on September 11 (Stephen Corran/PicsByCorraste/PA)

It marks the third silvery gibbon arrival at the zoo since the baby’s parents, Slamet and Nakula, were brought over to the island in 2016 as part of a global breeding programme.

Native to the Indonesian island of Java, silvery gibbons are classed as an endangered species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, with as few as 2,000 adults left in the wild.

The new arrival at Curraghs Wildlife Park was born as part of the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria’s (EAZA) ex-situ programme, which aims to protect endangered species.

The baby silvery gibbon sitting in its mother's lapSilvery gibbons are an endangered species,sti with as few as 2,000 adults left in the wild (Stephen Corran/PicsByCorraste/PA)

Kathleen Graham, general manager at Curraghs Wildlife Park, said it was “great” to see the family expand.

“There are just 52 silvery gibbons in the care of nine European zoos so the birth is very significant,” she said.

“We know how vital EAZA programmes are for conservation efforts and we are very proud to play our part.”

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