Baby Gibbon has a Name!
Thanks to your overwhelming response to our baby gibbon naming contest, the Zoo will be donating over $1100 to Fauna and Flora International. Makaio was the winning name with $274 in donations (Makoto placed second with $176 and Mingli was third with $106 in donations). Thank you to everyone who generously donated and shared the contest with their friends!
Public Debut & Naming Contest
A male white-cheeked gibbon was born on June 5. The family group will make its public debut on July 5, but the baby doesn't have a name! We need YOUR help! The Zoo is giving the public an opportunity to choose a name by making a conservation donation. Vote for your favorite name as many times as you like between now and July 31!
The three names are:
- Mingli (Min-GLEE) – Chinese for “bright propriety”
- Makaio (Ma-KI-o) – Laotian for “gift of God”
- Makoto (Ma-KO-toe) – Laotian for “honesty”
Each vote is a $1 donation to Fauna and Flora International, an organization that protects gibbon habitats in China and Vietnam. Nashville Zoo will match all donations made for the naming contest. The name with the most donations will be announced in August.
Many of you may remember long time Zoo resident, Muffy. The 47 year old white-cheeked gibbon is celebrating her first grandchild from her daughter, Singwah. Muffy is the second oldest white-cheeked gibbon in North America and has been in an off exhibit habitat since 2015 due to an arm injury. Muffy has been a successful surrogate mother to several white-cheeked gibbons throughout the years. We are excited for her bloodline to be carried on through Singwah and her grandson, who is extremely important to the Species Survival Plan (SSP) population because he has founder genetics.
(Below is the original blog posted 6/13/16)
Birth Announcement: June 13, 2016
Nashville Zoo is pleased to announce the birth of a male white-cheeked gibbon on Sunday, June 5. This is the first white-cheeked gibbon to be born at Nashville Zoo since adding the species to the animal collection in 2003. First time mom, Singwah and baby are doing well.
“We’ve established a great relationship with Singwah through daily target training,” said Sabrina Barnes, primate supervisor. “Through this training, Singwah let us touch her belly and so we were able to monitor her pregnancy through ultrasound. Once the baby was born, she eagerly showed us the infant but has made it clear that no touching is allowed.”
Guests to the Zoo will not be able to see the new baby for a while. Singwah will spend the next few weeks in her den bonding with the new baby. During this time, the Zoo’s veterinary staff and primate keepers will monitor the infant and family group.
“We are taking all precautions to ensure a healthy baby,” said Dr. Heather Robertson, director of veterinary services for the Zoo. “Fortunately, we have outstanding support from the medical community. For example, Children’s Hospital at Tri-Star Centennial was kind enough to let us borrow a neonatal incubator in case we would need it.”
White-cheeked gibbons are not monkeys, but are considered lesser apes due in part to their lack of a tail and ability to walk bipedally on their back legs. They are considered critically endangered in their native lands of Southeast Asia. Populations are decreasing in the wild due to habitat loss, illegal pet trade and the palm oil crisis. Nashville Zoo participates in the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Species Survival Plan for this species to increase the captive population.