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Critters

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Courtesy Fort Wayne Children's Zoo
Dieng snuggles her baby.

Rare baby Javan gibbon born at Fort Wayne zoo

The Fort Wayne Children's Zoo welcomed a baby to its family of Javan gibbons last month.

Javan gibbons are small, gray-furred apes found in the wild only on the island of Java in Indonesia, according to zoo officials.

The baby, who has not yet been named, is the second born to Dieng, the mother, and Lionel. The latest arrival was born April 16.

Jaka, their first baby, was born on March 14, 2011, and lives with his parents at the zoo. Gibbons remain with their families for about seven years, zoo officials said.

"We are thrilled with the birth," Animal Curator Mark Weldon said.

Weldon said Deing has been taking care of the baby and he appears to be healthy.

The newborn clings to his mother's belly and does not yet move around on his own, according to zoo officials. The family remains indoors with occasional access to the outdoor exhibit.

Zoo patrons can see gibbons when they are in the overhead area, but the family will not move into the exhibit until keepers are certain that Deing and the baby are ready.

The gibbons will remain closed off from the full exhibit for a couple weeks, but they should be up and roaming about the two-story area within the next month and all summer long, said education and communications director Cheryl Piropato.

The Javan gibbons are exhibited at the Tree Tops Trail Boardwalk in the zoo's Indonesian Rain Forest.

Lionel and Dieng arrived at the Fort Wayne Children's Zoo in August 2010. Lionel came to Fort Wayne from the Gibbon Conservation Center in California and Dieng came from the Belfast Zoo in Northern Ireland.

The baby gibbon born last month is one of only two born in North America in the past year, zoo officials said.

The Fort Wayne Children's Zoo is one of only two accredited zoos in North America to exhibit this species and is part of an international group hoping to increase the number of gibbons worldwide. Only about 4,000 Javan gibbons remain on the island of Java in Indonesia.

jcrothers@jg.net

The Journal Gazette

Julie Crothers

The Journal Gazette

The Fort Wayne Children's Zoo welcomed a baby to its family of Javan gibbons last month.

Javan gibbons are small, gray-furred apes found in the wild only on the island of Java in Indonesia, according to zoo officials.

The baby, who has not yet been named, is the second born to parents Dieng, the mother, and Lionel. The latest arrival was born April 16.

Jaka, their first baby, was born on March 14, 2011, and lives with his parents at the zoo. Gibbons remain with their families for about seven years, zoo officials said.

"We are thrilled with the birth," Animal Curator Mark Weldon said.

Weldon said Deing has been taking care of the baby and he appears to be healthy.

The newborn clings to his mother's belly and does not yet move around on his own, according to zoo officials. The family remains indoors with occasional access to the outdoor exhibit.

Zoo patrons can see gibbons when they are in the overhead area, but the family will not move into the exhibit until keepers are certain that Deing and the baby are ready.

The gibbons will remain closed off from the full exhibit for a couple weeks, but they should be up and roaming about the two-story area within the next month and all summer long, said education and communications director Cheryl Piropato.

The Javan gibbons are exhibited at the Tree Tops Trail Boardwalk in the zoo's Indonesian Rain Forest.

Lionel and Dieng arrived at the Fort Wayne Children's Zoo in August 2010. Lionel came to Fort Wayne from the Gibbon Conservation Center in California and Dieng came from the Belfast Zoo in Northern Ireland.

The baby gibbon born last month is one of only two born in North America in the past year, zoo officials said.

The Fort Wayne Children's Zoo is one of only two accredited zoos in North America to exhibit this species and is part of an international group hoping to increase the number of gibbons worldwide. Only about 4,000 Javan gibbons remain on the island of Java in Indonesia.

jcrothers@jg.net

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