Not monkeying around! New baby gibbon at the Assiniboine Park Zoo

A pair of white-handed gibbons who live at Winnipeg’s Assiniboine Park Zoo are proud parents to their first-born offspring.

The couple, named Maya and Samson, were matched on a recommendation from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Species Survival Program and selected to be the first residents of the zoo’s new gibbon habitat, which opened last June.

Maya and Samson welcomed their bundle of joy on Feb. 4.

“Maya and Samson appeared to be a really good match right from the start and we have been looking forward to this possibility for some time, so this is very exciting news for our staff, volunteers and visitors,” said Grant Furniss, senior director of zoological operations.

The burgeoning family is currently spending private time in an off-exhibit holding centre where the health of the mother and baby are being monitored.

The baby’s sex is not yet known.

The first opportunity for zoo-goers to see the new addition is Valentine’s Day.

White-handed gibbons are small tailless apes with soft, thick fur. They live in trees and are some of the fastest primates, using their long arms to swing between branches.

The species is endangered due to habitat loss and hunting, and is found mainly in tropical forests of Southeast Asia.