Meet the newest arrival at Blackpool Zoo as rare primate gives birth

Say hello to the newest arrival at a popular Lancashire tourist attraction.

Thursday, 24th September 2020, 12:20 pm
Updated Thursday, 24th September 2020, 12:28 pm

Keepers at Blackpool Zoo are celebrating after a significant birth at the end of a summer season like no other.

One of the zoo’s Pileated Gibbons, Ivy, gave birth at the end of August with the baby becoming the sixth member of Europe’s second largest group of the endangered species.

There are just 14 Pileated Gibbons in zoos across the UK, with only two breeding pairs.

The new Pileated Gibbon, which was born at Blackpool Zoo at the end of August

Parents Ivy and Chamoa have two other youngsters, both boys, called Dobbie and Iwani with them in the small primate house, so keepers are hoping that the new arrival is female. Another male, Seronimo also lives at Blackpool Zoo.

Charlotte Pennie, senior primate keeper at Blackpool Zoo, said: “As an endangered species that is very difficult to breed the announcement of a successful birth is hugely important news for the zoo and indeed the species as a whole.

“Ivy is doing a fantastic job of caring for the youngster, which she will carry on her chest for around six months before it starts to explore its surroundings.

“We have been unable to tell what sex the baby is as yet so it really is a case of the keepers keeping a close eye on them both during these next few months. We’re hoping for little girl after two beautiful boys.

“Ivy is 31 and has been with us for 26 years. We almost lost her ten years ago when she became very ill, so for her to recover and go onto have three healthy babies is just wonderful.”

Pileated Gibbons hail from eastern Thailand, western Cambodia and southwest Laos. They form monogamous breeding pairs and have a diet of fruits, leaves and small animals.

Blackpool Zoo is open at 10am every day of the year except Christmas Day. Closing time is 5.45pm and last admission is 5pm. Due to Covid-19 restrictions the zoo is limiting the number of visitors in park and people should book online at www.blackpoolzoo.org.uk to guarantee entry.

For more information about Covid-19 measures at Blackpool Zoo please visit https://www.blackpoolzoo.org.uk/covid-19-information-for-visitors