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Curraghs Wildlife Park: Rare gibbon born as part of European breeding programme

Thursday, 28 September 2023

An extremely rare silvery gibbon has been born at the Curraghs Wildlife Park on the Isle of Man.

It is the third baby born to parents Slamet and Nakula since they arrived at the Park in 2016, as part of a globally important breeding programme.

The European Association of Zoos and Aquaria’s (EAZA) Ex situ programmes protect genetically viable populations of endangered species by caring for them in their accredited zoos.Gibbon photo  - Stephen Corran

Silvery gibbons are classed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (ICCN) with as few as 2,000 adults left in the wild, where they are endemic to the Indonesian island of Java.

They have silver-grey fluffy fur and long limbs and fingers with reduced thumbs, to help them swing through the trees.

General Manager Kathleen Graham said:

‘It’s great to see the family expand and to be able to be privileged enough to see the family dynamics change as they mature.’

There are just 52 silvery gibbons in the care of nine European zoos, so the birth is very significant. We know how vital EAZA programmes are for conservation efforts and we are very proud to play our part.’

The EAZA programmes see member zoos work together in a bid to maintain healthy populations of healthy animals and support conservation efforts in the field.

The newborn primate’s sex is yet to be determined to allow Slamet time to bond with her presently unnamed baby.

Clare Barber MHK, Minister for Environment, Food and Agriculture said:

‘It was an honour to be chosen to give a home to Nakula and Slamet. Great credit should go to the Curraghs’ team for providing the environment and care that has allowed this important family to grow.’

The Curraghs Wildlife Park is open 7 days a week between 9:30am and 5pm until the end of October half-term and the Gibbon enclosure is the first enclosure when entering.

Photo credit - Stephen Corran (PicsByCorraste).

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