One mum from Drusillas Park, Alfriston deserves a well earned rest this Mothers’ Day after delivering a very special baby bundle. Tali gave birth on 9th December and is a lar gibbon; an endangered ape native throughout south-east Asia.
During the early years, gibbon babies remain dependent on their mothers for both warmth and food. Females work extremely hard, rearing their offspring singlehandedly whilst their male companions protect the group and territory.
For the last three months, Tali has carried and nurtured the young male infant both day and night relentlessly. He will be nursed for up to two years and will not reach full maturity until the age of eight.
Head Keeper, Mark Kenward commented: “Tali was born to be a mother; she seems to thrive when she has a baby to take care of.”
“On windy days she will find a place within her enclosure to keep the baby away from the breeze as well as teaching him everything he will need to know for life in the treetops. She is extremely protective and never lets him out of her sight, which is proving harder to do now that he has started to venture a little further.”
Lar gibbons are one of the most beautiful and graceful members of the ape family. In the wild they are found throughout the forests of south-east Asia. Sadly populations are threatened due to loss of habitat and Ulu and Tali were introduced at the zoo in 2005 as part of a European breeding programme.
Mark added: “We will be certain to make sure Tali gets lots of her favourite treats on Mothers’ Day but in the meantime we are asking for people to help us name her precious bundle. We have a shortlist - Buri, Sholo or Bacho - but we are finding it difficult to decide between them. Please vote for your favourite on our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/drusillaspark.”
photo credit Dean Thorpe
Published 14th March 2012
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