Tulsa zoo announces birth of endangered siamang

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(Photo credit: Dr. Jen Kilburn, Tulsa Zoo)
(Photo credit: Dr. Jen Kilburn, Tulsa Zoo)
Updated: 2/17 4:18 pm Published: 2/17 11:01 am

TULSA, Okla. - The Tulsa Zoo announced the birth of an endangered siamang.

Sophie, a female siamang at the zoo, gave birth to a baby around 5 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 10. A conservation success, this marks the first siamang to be born at the Tulsa Zoo in 23 years and the 14th siamang birth since the zoo began exhibiting the species in 1968.

Sophie and the baby are doing well as father, Jambi, remains close to the pair. The new addition, whose sex is not yet known, will remain in an off-exhibit area with its parents as they continue to bond. Staff is closely monitoring the baby to ensure that everything continues to go well.

Infant siamangs will cling to their mother’s abdomen for constant support during the first several months. Siamang family groups consist of adults and juvenile offspring. Siamang young are born nearly hairless and will stay with their parents until they reach maturity.

Siamangs are primates native to the rain forest canopies of Malaysia and Indonesia. Spending most of their time in trees, the arboreal siamang is currently listed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List because of habitat destruction as forests in their home ranges continue to disappear.

This birth was in conjunction with the Siamang SSP, or the Species Survival Plan®, which manages species in Association of Zoos and Aquariums-accredited institutions across the nation.

The Tulsa Zoo soon will break ground on a new siamang exhibit as part of the Lost Kingdom complex, which is slated to open in 2015.

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