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Nagasaki: Gibbon’s Father Identified 2 Years after Mysterious Birth
13:56 JST, February 18, 2023
SASEBO, Nagasaki — Two years after a white-handed gibbon gave birth unexpectedly to an offspring while in virtual isolation at a zoo in Sasebo, Nagasaki Prefecture, the father of the young monkey has been identified.
Momo, now 12, had been kept in a private enclosure at Kujukushima Zoo & Botanical Garden Mori Kirara to prevent contact with males of other species because white-handed gibbon are threatened with extinction and are on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s red list. Momo, however, unexpectedly gave birth to a male baby in February 2021.
In December last year, DNA analysis revealed that the young monkey’s father was Itou, a 34-year-old male agile gibbon. Officials said at the time of conception, Momo and Itou were in areas that were adjacent but separated by a metal plate. It is believed that they came into contact with each other through a hole in the plate that measures about 9 millimeters in diameter.
Momo has proved to be a devoted mother. The young gibbon has developed quickly, now weighing about 2 kilograms.
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