ITANAGAR- ( By Pradeep Kumar ) –Itanagar Biological Park, popularly called Itanagar Zoo, has inked another milestone with two Eastern Hoolock Gibbons (Hoolock leuconedys) born there in within eight days, taking their population to 19 and making happy animal lovers of Arunachal Pradesh.
The first baby was born to the zoo’s youngest couple ‘Jesu’ and ‘Sonu’ on December 12 and the second to ‘Bhat’ and ‘Yapa’ on December 20, the biological park’s veterinarian Dr Sorang Tadap told this daily over telephone on Wednesday. Another gibbon born in September last has been named ”Gandhi”, he said.
“The genders of the new-born gibbons can be identified only after four years through morphological changes in their skin colour,” Dr Tadap said, adding the baby gibbons have been kept under 15-day observation, which is very crucial period for their survival.
The zoo, covering an area of over 250 hectares, launched the Hoolock Gibbon Conservation Breeding Programme in 2007. Seventeen gibbons have been born in the facility since 2008, of which only three have died.
The zoo is the first lesser apes’ conservation-cum-breeding centre in the country fully funded by The centre is fully funded by Central Zoo Authority (CZA) of India, he added.
Itanagar Zoo had earned the distinction after a female gibbon was brought from Roing in Lower Dibang Valley district in 2008 and named ‘Mishmi Baido’ (Mishmi sister). It had had given birth to a baby gibbon on 07.10.15. Its partner was named ‘Corneal Opacity’ because of his defective eyes, according to park curator Raya Flago said, adding their population has been rising steadily sin then.
Hoolock gibbon is the only primate species in the country and the state animal of Arunachal Pradesh, where its population is around 1500 making it highly endangered species, Falgo said, adding “It is our prime duty to save this beautiful animal from extinction.”
Hoolocks are the second-largest of the gibbons, after the Siamang and reach a size of 60 to 90 cm and weigh 6 to 9 kg. The sexes are about the same size, but they differ considerably in coloration: males are black-colored with remarkable white brows, while females have a grey-brown fur, which is darker at the chest and neck. White rings around their eyes and mouths give their faces a mask-like appearance. The name Hoolock, as per Oxford English dictionary, is from the Assamese (holou) or related languages.