Endangered, musical siamang born at Baton Rouge Zoo with a song in its heart _lowres

The new baby siamang at the Baton Rouge Zoo will cling to its mother for its first year, before its father takes over parenting duties. The siamang was born last week. Photo provided by BREC

The Baton Rouge Zoo has a new baby siamang, which is an endangered gibbon whose population in the wild has been harmed by hunting and habitat loss.

The siamang was born late last week, and zoo officials have not been able to deduce its gender yet. The small ape is already out in the exhibit with its mother, father and older brother.

In the zoo’s photo, the little siamang is clinging to its mother’s chest. It will continue to cling to its mother for the next year or so, before its father takes over most parenting duties, according to the zoo.

Siamangs are especially known for using music to establish bonds within their troops. Each morning, the siamangs sing together.

The siamangs are native to Malaysia and Sumatra. Their population in the wild has declined by around half over the past 40 years because of pet trade hunting and agriculture and infrastructure building, according to the zoo.

“We’ve been extremely pleased with the success we’ve found in breeding our siamangs as part of the greater Species Survival Plan,” said the zoo’s general curator Sam Winslow in a news release. “This new baby represents the second we’ve successfully bred within the past five years.”

Through the Species Survival Plan, zoos and aquariums help maintain healthy populations of endangered animals and breed them. Siamangs are monogamous, and usually produce offspring in two to three year spans, according to the zoo.

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