Monday, January 10, 2011

Lincoln Park Zoo Welcomes Newborn Gibbon

It’s a boy or a girl at the Lincoln Park Zoo.

Zoo staff aren’t quite sure yet of the sex of the zoo’s newest addition, a healthy white-cheeked gibbon born Thursday.

Male or female, a gibbon’s external genitalia, like many young mammals, look nearly identical.

Zoo officials will know after an examination, and the unnamed baby will reveal its sex to all as it ages.

Adult male gibbons are black, females are beige. All baby gibbons are tan-colored, develop black fur with white cheek patches around 18 months and then settle into their final color during sexual maturity, between 5 and 7 years old.

For now, the little one is hitting all its milestones, clinging to its mother as she swings from branch to branch.

“It’s nursing, holding on and mom is being appropriately attentive to the infant,” said Steve Thompson, the zoo’s senior vice president of conservation programs. “Everything looks great,”

The baby is the third child of Caruso and his mate Burma. The pair joined the zoo in the mid-1990s after the renovation of the Helen Brach Primate House.

Full story here.

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