BREC’s Baton Rouge Zoo Announces New Baby Siamang

October 12 2015

BATON ROUGE, LA. —  BREC’s Baton Rouge Zoo is excited to announce the arrival of a new baby siamang. Born at the Baton Rouge Zoo on Thursday, October 8, the baby is now on exhibit with its mother, father and older sister. The gender is not yet known.

Native to Malaysia and Sumatra, the siamang is currently listed as Endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) Red List. It is estimated that their population in the wild has declined by at least 50 percent over the past 40 years due to hunting for pet trade and habitat loss to make way for agriculture and infrastructure.

“We’ve been extremely pleased with the success we’ve found in breeding our siamangs as part of the greater Species Survival Plan (SSP),” said Sam Winslow, General Curator. “The SSP is a program through the Association of Zoos and Aquariums that we participate in, as well as all accredited zoos across the country. The goal of the SSP is to maintain a healthy population among endangered animals that is both genetically diverse and demographically stable, and that’s exactly what we’ve been able to do with our siamangs. This new baby represents the second we’ve successfully bred within the past five years.”

Siamangs, who are monogamous, typically produce single offspring in two to three year spans. Once the baby is born, it will cling to the female, but at around age one, the male will take over most parenting duties. Siamangs are most noted for their musical abilities, and each morning, the troop will gather to “sing” their unique song. This singing helps maintain the troop’s bond and establish their territory.