Amy the white-handed gibbon (Hylobates lar) from Terra Natura Benidorm has given birth to a healthy offspring.
Amy lost her first partner three years ago and went into mourning rejecting all advances from other male gibbons.
This species of primate is monogamous so when Amy lost her partner she spent the next few years refusing to accept any male advances even from Shantou her new mate. Shantou is also younger than Amy so at first she took no notice of him.
Gradually, the initial reluctance gave way to closeness between the two gibbons culminating in the recent birth.
Although the courtship between the two animals only began last year they had not managed to conceive. The arrival of this little baby, who weighs nearly half a kilo, has sealed their relationship as a couple.
Amy has a very strange personality, she does not seem to relate well to other females whether they are from the same species or not. The veterinary surgeons, keepers and visitors alike have all felt her obsession towards the female gender.
The relationship between mother and baby though is good. The young male clings to his mother as she moves carefully and with ease through the branches in the enclosure.
When he is hungry he whines until she approaches so he can suckle and feed.
For now, the father is not involved in the baby’s care, although he shows curiosity about the baby and approaches now and again to study this new individual.
The white-handed gibbons generally live in Southeast Asia and may even form family groups of up to 12 members. Their gestation period lasts six months and only produces one baby. Their diet consists of shoots, insects, plants, birds and even eggs.
The long arms of this species allow them to move from branch to branch with ease. The length of their limbs is such that when on the ground they do not know what to do with them! They are Bipeds, walking on two legs and when they walk they raise their arms above their heads to avoid tripping over them.