Agile Gibbon Animals & Plants

About the Agile Gibbon

One of the smaller apes of its kind, the Agile Gibbon varies in colour between black and reddish-brown. The male is distinguishable from his female counterpart by the white or light-grey cheek fur on his face; both have white eyebrows and, like other Gibbons, don’t have tails. As its name suggests, the Agile Gibbon is one of the fastest and acrobatic climbers in the forest.

Habitat

Native to monsoon and evergreen rainforests in Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand, it rarely ventures down to ground level and spends most of its life high up in the trees. When it does walk upright on two legs, it holds its arms above its head to aid with balance.

Wild Notes

The Agile Gibbon’s diet is mainly frugivorous (fruit), but it also eat immature leaves, flowers and insects and prefers fruits that are high in sugar such as figs. Family groups consist of a mated pair - that remain monogamous - and their offspring. Older young help rear their younger brothers and sisters before eventually leaving the group to find their own mate and establish their own territory. Grooming is also an important activity, helping the youth to develop both physically and socially.

Conservation

Listed as Endangered, the Gibbon’s numbers continue to decrease because of the impact of habitat destruction (which has been reduced by 50% over the past 45 years) and the actions of hunters, who illegally capture the species for the pet market.

Did you know?

The calls and songs of the Agile Gibbon are species specific and include morning choruses and duets between males and females. It's also the female's call that is longest and most distinct of the pair.

The Fota Connection

Agile Gibbons have been at Fota since the 1990s and are part of the large Monkey Island area. Not too many Wildlife Parks or Zoos have this particular species in captivity and the Park has seen several juveniles born to its main mating pair, Conor and Chloe, over the years. The female, particularly, likes to spend time indoors in their heated house on colder days in Cork – understandable behaviour from a species that originates from Southeast Asia.

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