White-cheeked gibbon baby gets name after naming contest


After a public naming contest, the Akron Zoo’s white-cheeked gibbon infant now has a name – Lolani, which is Lao for “royal hawk, soaring to new heights.” The name was selected today, Jan. 28, by the gibbon’s parents, Milo and Parker. 

The zoo asked the public to help pick a name for the baby earlier this month during the gibbon baby naming contest, which was presented by Akron Children’s Hospital. The public voted for their favorite name out of a selection of five names. 

The two names with the most votes, Lolani and Keo, were then presented to the gibbon family on enrichment and the enrichment item touched first was selected as the final name for the baby. 

Lolani was born on Dec. 9 to the zoo’s gibbon pair, Parker and Milo. The duo moved to the Akron Zoo in late 2020 based on breeding recommendations from the Gibbon Species Survival Plan (SSP). This is the first white-cheeked gibbon birth in the Akron Zoo’s history. 

White-cheeked gibbons are native to Southeast Asia. The species is listed as critically endangered by IUCN Red List due to habitat loss, mainly from deforestation to create palm oil plantations. 

The gibbon family is in the indoor gibbon habitat daily.