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White-handed gibbon

Scientific name:  Hylobates lar
Class:  Mammals
Continent:  Asia
Habitat:  Temperate forests and taiga
Diet:  Herbivorous
Weight:  5 - 8 kg
Size:  50 cm
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Meet the White-handed gibbon!

The White-Handed Gibbon has developed  excellent eyesight  and magnificent reflexes, the result of its life among the trees.

It’s multicolored, with light brown skin and a black face, while its hands and feet and facial ring are white. Of the five fingers on their hands, gibbons use four to hold on as a hook, while the thumb is retracted and used only for climbing.

They are the only primates that move, habitually and spontaneously, upright on their feet and with their arms open in the shape of a pole. Females, when pregnant, walk on the ground on all fours.

Historically they were distributed throughout southeastern China, eastern Burma, Thailand, Burma and the entire Malay Peninsula. They are now in danger of extinction.

What are its habits?

Female and male form a monogamous  “duo” to reinforce their pair bonds, communicating with each other with cries (loud in her case, simpler and more trembling, in his case).

Most of the day is spent foraging for food, starting at dawn and within a defined territory.

They live in stable family groups formed by the couple and their young, which are expelled from the clan once they reach maturity.

Their diet consists of fruits, especially figs. They also eat mangoes, leaves, flowers, birds and eggs.

Extinct in the wild
Critically endangered
Near threatened
Least concern
Insufficient data
Not evaluated


Gibbons are very graceful and acrobatic apes. Of course, they are so adapted to life in trees that they are rarely seen descending to the ground.

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Learn more about some of the Zoo's animals in a unique adventure

Learn more about some of the Zoo's animals in a unique adventure