Critically endangered monkey born at the Greenville Zoo

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The Greenville Zoo is celebrating its newest resident: a baby siamang monkey.

Staff discovered the newborn monkey on Friday during preparations for Winter Storm Helena, according to a news release. The new monkey is the second baby of Ella and Oscar.

Ella, a 27-year-old siamang monkey, and her baby will be on exhibit at the Greenville Zoo this week. (Photo by the Greenville Zoo)

In March, the two siamang monkeys welcomed their first baby, George. According to the release, the recent birth marks a new era for Siamang breeding at the zoo. Siamang monkeys, which are typically found in Asia, are critically endangered due to habitat destruction from logging and agriculture.

“This is another important birth for the Greenville Zoo and the Gibbon Species Survival Plan, but what will be even more exciting for our guests is watching these two youngsters growing up together,” Greenville Zoo’s administrator Jeff Bullock said.

Ella, the female, came to the Greenville Zoo from the Lee Richardson Zoo in Kansas in 2014. Oscar, the male, was born and raised at the Greenville Zoo. The two siamang monkeys were paired for breeding through the Gibbons Species Survival Plan, which makes recommendations and develops long-term research and management strategies for the species.

Bullock said the family of monkeys is doing well and that staff is closely monitoring them. The zoo plans to determine the new monkey’s gender over the next few weeks, allowing the family time to bond.

“Ella and Oscar have proven themselves to be great parents, and now we get to see what kind of big brother George will be,” Bullock said.

The newborn monkey will be on exhibit this week, he added.

5 facts about siamang monkeys

Source: The Greenville Zoo

  1. Siamang monkeys are the largest species in the gibbon family, weighing up to 29 pounds and reaching at least 30 inches in height.
  2. Infants usually cling to their mother’s abdomen during the first few months and don’t leave their family until around age seven.
  3. Adults have an arm spread up to five feet, which makes them one of the best brachiators, a primate that swings from tree to tree.
  4. Siamang monkeys live in trees and consume leaves, fruits, flowers and insects from the upper canopy of mountainous forest regions in Malaysia, Thailand and Sumatra.
  5. One feature that distinguishes siamang monkeys from other primates is the song that marks their territory with sound. The song, which can be heard several miles away, consists of loud booms and barks, amplified by resonating sounds across their inflated throat sacs.

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