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White-cheeked gibbon

Did you know?

Nomascus leucogenys

How far can you swing? Gibbons are experts, able to swing themselves from one branch to another up to 9 feet away. In the wild they can travel about a mile a day looking for food.

Discover Gibbons

Wild and zoo
Around 18-25 inches high and 12-20 pounds, white-cheeked gibbons live in tropical and monsoon forest canopies in southeast Asia. Find ours here in the Asian Forest Sanctuary.
Asian Forest Sanctuary
Meet the Keepers
(Swing along.)
Keepers in our Asian Forest Sanctuary give a talk each day at 12:30 pm – look for the signs in that area to find them. Ask questions about each animal, and find out how our zoo team feeds and cares for them.
See daily schedule

Meet our gibbons

(and predators!)
Gibbons eat what they find in the rainforest – fruits, leaves, buds, flowers, insects, eggs and small young birds.
Their main predators are humans, eagles, owls and leopards.
Mama love
Hold on tight.
After a 7-month pregnancy, females give birth to one baby who clings to its mother, nursing for about a year.
Offspring can stay with their family for up to 10 years, though some leave to form their own.
Sleeping in trees
and making a big noise.
White-cheeked gibbons are arboreal (they sleep in trees) and diurnal (they hunt during the day). The female is dominant.
Pairs bond and mark territory with loud vocals: hoots, squeals, whistles and twitters. Listen out for ours in the early morning!

Protecting gibbons

Where’s my mother?

THE THREAT: Gibbons are critically endangered. They need up to 100 acres to range in for food, but that is being fragmented by human use. And in some places, babies are taken from their mothers and sold as pets.

TAKE ACTION: Much of southeast Asia’s rainforest destruction is to make room for palm oil plantations. Check products you use for sustainable palm oil, and encourage companies to make the switch.

Asian forest stories

A Tapir Ultrasound

Zoological Aide Katie Schachtsick holds a long-handled back-scratcher and applies just the right amount of pressure as she rubs it across the black-and-white hide of endangered Malayan tapir Yuna. It’s clear Yuna enjoys the attention – and the back rub – leaning into the scratcher and then moving her stout legs down, getting into a … Continued

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AI for endangered tigers

Cross your paws. And think of tiger cubs! Our endangered female Sumatran tigers, 5-year-old Kali and 4-year-old Kirana, could be pregnant. Both were artificially inseminated Jan. 30 with sperm from 14-year-old Mohan. We won’t know for a few weeks if a pregnancy resulted, but if successful, tiger cubs would be born in May. But it … Continued

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5 Animals that Beat the Cold

We’re all feeling the cold right about now in the Pacific Northwest – and the rest of the country too. But here at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, our animals have some pretty cool ways to deal with it. From fur coats to heated hammocks, here are five ways our animals beat the winter cold. … Continued

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Who's Nearby?
Like our gibbons? Then look for our siamangs! They also swing through the habitats, rotating with the other animals around the Asian Forest Sanctuary.