Agile Gibbon



    Hylobates agilis
    Tropical Forests


The Asian Sanctuary

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 all gibbons, are tail less. As its name suggests, the Agile Gibbon is one of the fastest and most acrobatic climbers in the forest.

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 long arms above its head to aid with balance.

The Agile Gibbon’s diet is mainly frugivorous preferring fruit like figs that are high in sugar but it also consumes immature leaves, flowers, and insects. 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 juveniles to develop both physically and socially.


Listed as Endangered, the number of Agile gibbons in existence continue to decrease due to the impact of habitat destruction (which has been reduced by 50% over the past 45 years) and the actions of hunters, who capture the species for the illegal pet trade. The construction of roads through protected areas facilitates the fragmentation of gibbon habitats and also increases access for poachers.

Did you know?

The calls and songs of the Agile Gibbon include morning choruses and duets between males and females with the female’s call being the longest and most distinct of the pair. They use these calls as a means of defending their territory from rivals. If this doesn’t work as a deterrent, they will actively chase intruders away!

Agile Gibbons have been resident at Fota since the 1990’s and are located on an island in the Asian Sanctuary. Agile Gibbons are held in only a few collections throughout the world and Fota Wildlife Parks is fortunate to have welcomed several juveniles born to its main mating pair, Conor and Chloe, over the years.


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