About White-Cheeked Gibbons

Gibbons are a species of lesser apes or small apes. The Northern white-cheeked gibbons usually stand between 18 and 25 inches tall. This species has extremely long arms and legs, which are needed for their arboreal lifestyle, and long, dagger-like canines.

Male and female external genitalia are very similar making it difficult to determine the sex in the young. However, adult gibbons are sexually dimorphic, making it easier to identify gender once gibbons are mature. Adult females will always have tan fur and adult males will always have black fur.

White-cheeked gibbons eat, travel and sleep high in the tree canopy. This enables them to avoid feline predators but makes them more vulnerable to raptors. White-cheeked gibbons have a home territory and travel about 1 mile per day within their area.

When traversing the tree canopy, gibbons use a specialized form of movement called brachiation. Their hands form a loose hook around branches, allowing them to swing through trees using a hand-over-hand motion. Although gibbons in their native habitat spend most of their time in the trees, they have been observed to spend more time on the ground in zoos.

Gibbons live in small family groups made up of a mated pair and their young offspring. Grooming is an essential component of social interaction as well as play with infants.

This species tends to be co-dominant, with females often playing a larger role in food acquisition.

Each morning, mated pairs will perform a vocal duet that enables other gibbons to recognize their territory. At first, both males and females appear to “warm up.” Then the male and female alternate, with the male’s call typically ending the sequence. Along with calling, gibbons often exhibit acrobatic behavior.

White-Cheeked Gibbon at the Akron Zoo

Our white-cheeked gibbon family can be found in Lehner Family Foundation Wild Asia.

  • Milo – male, black, born December 12, 1999
  • Parker – female, tan, born June 15, 2001
  • Lolani – female, born to Parker and Milo on December 9, 2021