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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

Habitat
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 unscheduled talks daily. Ask questions about each animal, and find out how our zoo team feeds and cares for them.

Meet our gibbon

Sunisa
Eating
(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

Elephant Yoga and Apple Slices

Shannon Smith stands outside on a fall day, calling out encouragement. “Foot!” she requests. Across the yard, her “buddy” of 24 years slowly lifts a leg, then puts it back down. “Good!” exclaims Smith, and offers an apple slice. It’s exercise time at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, and Smith is leading Suki the elderly … Continued

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Cho Cho, Still the Oldest Siamang

How does it feel to be the oldest siamang? Well, for Cho Cho, snuggled up with his companion Dudlee on a crisp fall morning at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, it seemed pretty cozy. This year Cho Cho is celebrating his 54th birthday – which makes him the oldest siamang on record in human care … Continued

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Clouded Leopard Conservation

Clouded leopards are endangered. Their tropical forests are being cut down for logging, human habitat and to grow palm oil, a common food product. Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium plays a huge role in the conservation of clouded leopards in the wild. The Zoo is part of the Species Survival Plan (SSP) that keeps zoo … Continued

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