November 29, 2023

A baby white-handed gibbon is the newest addition to Assiniboine Park Zoo and Winnipeggers have an opportunity to name it.

The gibbon was born on Oct. 23 and is the third offspring for Maya (female, 12) and Samson (male, 21), who were matched in 2017 on a recommendation from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Species Survival Plan Program.

Baby gibbon.

Assiniboine Park Zoo

The baby is believed to be a girl but the gender has yet to be confirmed.

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The zoo’s animal care team has created a small list of names for Winnipeggers to choose from, all starting with the letter ‘M’ or ‘S’ in honour of baby gibbon’s older siblings, mother Maya, father Samson and grandfather Mel.

Voters can vote on the following names until Sunday:

  • Minerva – the Roman goddess of wisdom
  • Maavi – meaning precious
  • Malai – meaning garland of flowers
  • Supanee – meaning fast

White-handed gibbons are small, arboreal apes found mainly in tropical rainforests in Southeast Asia, where palm oil production is on the rise.

“Here at the zoo, our gibbons act as ambassadors for their species, which is endangered due primarily to severe habitat loss and hunting,” said Dr. Chris Enright, senior director of zoological operations at the zoo.

“Gibbons are charismatic, active and engaging creatures and we hope this little one will inspire our zoo visitors to take action to protect wildlife around the world and here in Canada.”

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