Primate Keepers at Port Lympne Hotel & Reserve, Kent’s award winning wild animal park, are celebrating as an adorable gibbon infant makes its public debut.
Born in July this year, the precious primate has been clinging closely to its mother during the first developing weeks, and it is still too soon for the expert keepers to be able to identify if the youngster is male or female.
The cute youngster is yet to be named and is the second offspring to be born to mother, Belle and father, Gapak.
Simon added: ‘Belle and Gapak are excellent parents. Belle is very relaxed and sweet natured towards the infant and Gapak is being very considerate towards his mate by letting her have first choice of food and giving her the space she needs to care for their little one.’
The gibbon birth is not only great news for the Reserve, near Ashford, but is also a positive sign for the future of the species. Critically endangered in the wild, Javan gibbon numbers have dramatically declined due to hunting and the illegal pet trade.
Working with the conservation charity – The Aspinall Foundation, Port Lympne Hotel & Reserve have sent a number of primates, including a female Javan gibbon to their Javan Primate Project in Indonesia, in order to boost the wild populations.
Simon said ‘It’s too early to tell yet but we hope that this little one will be a good candidate to send to our Java Primate Project and the forests that we protect in the area. In the meantime, we’re enjoying watching the infant grow and develop. Visitors to the Reserve should be able to see our lovely gibbon family during the summer holidays.’