Distribution: Southern China, Laos and Vietnam
Habitat: Subtropical and tropical rainforests
Description: Male and female White-cheeked Gibbons have different coloured fur. The male’s body is covered with black fur, with white cheeks and a black crest on its head. The female is a golden colour with a black face and no crest. Babies have a whitish coat that turns black over the first two years of life. When they reach sexual maturity, the males stay black but the females change to the golden colour.
Diet: White-cheeked Gibbons are omnivores and spend most of their time looking for fruit in the canopy. However, they also eat leaves, flowers and insects.
In the wild: Very little is known about White-cheeked Gibbons. They very rarely come down to the ground, preferring to spend most of their time in the forest canopy. They are excellent brachiators (using their arms to swing from tree to tree) and move quickly through the trees. When they walk on their hindlegs across branches, they hold their arms above their heads for balance.
Threats: Habitat destruction across their home range of China, Vietnam and Laos is a major threat to these animals. They are also hunted for the illegal pet trade.
At Perth Zoo: Perth Zoo is part of an Australasian breeding program for this species and has two breeding pairs of White-cheeked Gibbons which can be seen in the Asian Rainforest zone.
Did you know? Gibbons are considered the most agile of the primate acrobats. They can clear up to three metres in one swing.
White-cheeked Gibbons have a very loud call called the ‘morning chorus’. This promotes bonding and marks territories.
Hear the White-cheeked Gibbon’s song: