NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) - The Virginia Zoo has welcomed its newest addition to its ever growing family, a newborn siamang .
Siamangs are the largest species of gibbon and are native to Southeast Asia, found in the rainforests, a release from the Virginia Zoo in Norfolk explained. The little siamang was born sometime between late Aug. 20 and early Aug. 21, as zookeepers discovered it clinging to its mother's stomach.
The newborn's mother, Hitam, came to the Virginia Zoo from the San Diego Zoo, while its father, Bali, came from Howletts Wild Animal Park in England.
"This is a very important birth, as siamangs are critically endangered and facing increasing pressure in the wild," Greg Bockeim, the zoo's executive director said. "We're hopeful that this spectacular event marks the beginning of a growing siamang family here at the Virginia Zoo.
Visitors can see the newborn, whose gender has yet to be determined, at the Asia – Trail of the Tiger exhibit.
"Initially, Hitam and her baby spent most of their time behind the scenes, but they can now frequently be seen in their indoor playroom," Bockheim added.
Baby siamangs spend the first few months clinging to their mothers. By age two, they are independent, but still part of the family. Siamangs leave their parents at age seven.
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