Baby gibbon gets potential surrogate family at the Cincinnati Zoo

Baby Kip is a six-month-old white-cheeked gibbon.
Baby Kip is a six-month-old white-cheeked gibbon.(Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Gardens)
Published: Mar. 23, 2023 at 1:53 PM EDT
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CINCINNATI (WXIX) - A baby gibbon that arrived earlier this month from the Dallas Zoo is almost ready to move in with his “surrogate aunts” at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden.

6-month-old northern white-cheeked gibbon Kip will join two female buff-cheek gibbons who could potentially become his surrogate family, according to the Zoo’s communication director Michelle Curley.

The teen gibbons Skittles and M&M would be first-time parents but the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Species Survival Program believes they would be a good match to care for baby Kip.

Skittles and M&M are two buff-cheeked gibbons.
Skittles and M&M are two buff-cheeked gibbons.(Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Gardens)

“His mom and dad did not show interest in caring for him, so the Dallas Zoo primate team stepped in to provide essential round-the-clock care,” said Victoria McGee, Zoological Manager of Primates. “They remained optimistic that Kip would be able to reunite with his parents, but multiple reintroduction efforts were unfortunately not successful.”

Kip moved to the Zoo on March 7 near Skittles and M&M, interacting with them through a protective barrier.

Officials say he is being cared for around the clock by the Zoo’s animal professionals.

“We will continue to feed and care for Kip while encouraging interactions with the adult gibbons. It could be several more weeks before we do physical introductions, but we’re seeing positive behaviors and are hoping for a good outcome,” said McGee. “He’s taking bottles through the mesh, which he will still do after he joins the girls, and climbing around on the special gyms that the Zoo’s volunteer enrichment team built to encourage locomotion.”

For updates on Kip’s progress and when visitors will be able to see him, follow the zoo’s social media or visit their website.

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