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Endangered White-Cheeked Gibbon Born at Lincoln Park Zoo

By DNAinfo Staff on August 26, 2013 5:06pm

  The unnamed baby is the fourth child of father Caruso and mother Burma, zoo officials said.
Endangered in the Wild, White-Cheeked Gibbon Born at Lincoln Park Zoo
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CHICAGO — Say hello to the Lincoln Park Zoo's newest primate.

A baby white-cheeked gibbon was born earlier this month to mother Burma, the fourth child she has had with father Caruso, zoo officials announced Monday.

The baby, who was born Aug. 16, remains unnamed with its sex unknown. The infant joins its older brother, Sai, who will turn 3 in January.

"Burma is holding the baby close and showing every sign of being a great mom," Maureen Leahy, the zoo's primate curator, said in a statement. "The youngster is bright, alert, and clinging well."

Native to Southeast Asia, white-cheeked gibbons are an endangered type of small ape. Infants usually are born with golden tan fur much like their mothers. Within two years, the fur turns back. It stays that color for the male primates, but females will change back to their original hues.

Caruso and Burma were brought to breed together based on a recommendation by the Gibbon Species Survival Program. Once together, gibbons are thought to mate for life.

Though gibbons are raised primarily by their mother in infancy, they are later raised in a family group. When the children reach sexual maturity, they usually strike out on their own.

"The baby may be hard to spot for the first few weeks, as he or she is being held tightly by mom," Leahy said. "But it likely will not be long before the baby starts exploring the habitat with his or her big brother."