Posts Tagged ‘apes’

Oakland Zoo’s “Prime Mates”

by | February 21st, 2013

Two of our animals have been very popular over the past few months. Do you know who they are? They are Nikko and Gladys, our white-handed gibbon residents. You may be wondering what makes these two so special? Well, not only are they the only two white-handed gibbons at the Oakland Zoo, but they are also a new couple.

Gibbons are monogamous, meaning they mate for life. However, sadly this past year, Nikko, our male white-handed gibbon, lost his mate to a medical illness. He handled the loss similar to how humans would and went through a mourning cycle. During this time, zookeepers got to work searching for a potential companion for him. Luckily, they came across Gladys, a blonde-haired Texan gibbon from the Gladys Porter Zoo, who needed a new home.

Thus began the love connection process to bring Gladys to Oakland Zoo to meet Nikko. After thirty days of quarantine and proper introductions, the gibbons began residing on Gibbon Island together.

Nikko and Gladys are not just ‘roomies,’ but have become mates. Signs that they are getting along well include hugging, grooming, and even singing duets during their morning songs. Everyone here at the Zoo is extremely elated that this match has worked out; media and visitors have enjoyed watching the new couple too.

Quick Facts:

Similar to human hair color, gibbons also have a wide range of color variations. Nikko represents the darker end of the color spectrum, while Gladys, with her blonde hair, represents the lighter end. Gibbons are lesser apes originating from southeast Asia. One can tell the difference between an ape and a monkey by whether or not the primate has a tail or not. Tail equals monkey; no tail equals ape. Here’s a word of the day that applies to this species: brachiation. Brachiation is simply the movement of swinging with the arms from one hold to the next, similar to how children play on the ‘monkey bars’ on the school playground.

Thanks for reading the Oakland Zoo Blog. Now don’t forget to share this blog and impress your friends with all your newly gained knowledge about the gibbon species and our very special residents, Gladys and Nikko, at the Oakland Zoo. Don’t miss out on all the great media attention about this love story either. Check it out.

Animal Talk

AZA Wild Explorer

Press Release 

KOFY TV Segments

Knuckle Walking in the Right Direction

by | September 2nd, 2011

Oakland Zoo Chimpanzee

Chimpanzees are one of the most popular exhibits here are the Oakland Zoo and why wouldn’t they be? Chimps are dynamic, expressive, intelligent and overall fascinating, in my opinion.

This week, the US Fish and Wildlife service, at the request of Association of  Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), Humane society of the United States (HSUS), Jane Goodall Institute (JGI), and several other organizations announced that it will finally review its outdated classification system of chimpanzees.
Under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), wild chimps are classified endangered, while captive chimps are classified as threatened. This small, but important distinction means that captive chimps are not afforded the same protection under federal law that other apes are. The result of which is hundreds of chimpanzees living in poor situations in private households as pets or working in the entertainment business under abusive conditions. Over the last year, AZA has worked together with HSUS and several other organizations to petition US Fish and Wildlife to reconsider this double classification and give chimps the protection they deserve. On August 31, 2011, the USF&W agreed that a status review in this matter is warranted. This means that they will research the issue and reconsider their status after hearing comments from all sides.

You can help captive chimpanzees. US Fish and Wildlife will be taking comments on this issue until October 31, 2011. Please consider sending a message in support of this important change.   We can make a difference in the lives of chimps across the nation.

For information about the review go to:

To comment on the proposed change:

  • Federal eRulemaking Portal: Follow the instructions for submitting comments to Docket No. [FWS–R9–ES–2010–0086]; or
  • U.S. mail or hand-delivery: Public Comments Processing, Attn: [FWS–R9–ES–2010–0086]; Division of Policy and Directives Management; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; 4401 N. Fairfax Drive, MS 2042–PDM; Arlington, VA 22203.