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Lar gibbon

Did you know?

Hylobates lar

Lar gibbons – also known as white-handed gibbons – are some of the most athletic primates on the planet. They can swing up to 26 feet between branches!

Discover Gibbons

Habitat
Wild and Zoo.
Lar gibbons live in Southeast Asia from Indonesia to Thailand. They live in the high canopy of tropical forests and are rarely found in the understory. Find ours rotating through exhibits in the Asian Forest Sanctuary.
Asian Forest Sanctuary
Meet the keepers.
(They don't bite!)
Our zookeepers give unscheduled talks daily. Keep your eyes peeled to spot one, and bring your questions!

Meet our gibbons

Orion
Aries
Eating
(Fruit & veg.)
Some of their favorite foods include red pepper, spinach, grapes and bananas.
In the wild, lar gibbons mainly eat fruits, especially figs which can make up half their diet, leaves, buds, flowers and insects.
Singing
Jungle songs.
Lar gibbons love to sing - ours do it several times a day, for up to 30 minutes.
In the wild, their distinctive song, enhanced by a sound-amplifying throat sac, can be heard over half-a-mile away.
Forever young
(and playful.)
Gibbons have one of the longest juvenile periods among nonhuman primates, maturing at 8-12 years.
They love to play and are very athletic, doing back flips through the air while swinging or somersaults on the ground.

Protecting lar gibbons

Vanishing rainforests.

Lar gibbons are endangered in the wild. They are hunted for food and the illegal pet trade. Another threat  is deforestation: Much of Southeast Asia’s rainforest is being destroyed to make room for palm oil plantations. You can help save the species by checking the products you use for sustainable palm oil and encouraging companies to make the switch.

asian Forest stories

Meet Indah!

Endangered Sumatran tiger Indah will make her public debut at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium on Friday, April 2, at noon. It’s a homecoming for the female tiger, one of three cubs born at the Tacoma zoo over six years ago. “It’s heartwarming to welcome her home to Tacoma and see her all grown up,” … Continued

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Lar Gibbon Brothers Arrive at Zoo

“Whoop, Whoooooop, Whoop-whoop!” There’s a new set of sounds heard throughout Point Defiance Park, coming from Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium. It’s the sound of two young lar gibbons singing loudly in unison. Also known as white-handed gibbons, they are an endangered primate in the gibbon family with around 15,000 currently living in the wild. … Continued

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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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Who's Nearby?
Spotted our gibbons? Then look for our clouded leopards! Find them in their leafy habitat just uphill from the other Asian Forest Sanctuary habitats.