Orana Wildlife Park announces arrival of a 9-year-old siamang gibbon

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch
Aug 03, 2023 |

Orana Wildlife Park has announced the arrival of Suka, a 9-year-old siamang gibbon, from Pairi Daiza Zoo in Belgium.

Suka has completed quarantine and being introduced to the Park’s 10-year-old female, Basuki who is very excited with her Belgian beau.

 Exotic Species Manager Rachael Mason said “Suka’s transfer is really important for conservation efforts for these incredible apes because he is a new founder animal for the Australasian region, introducing new genetics.”

His transfer to New Zealand was a joint recommendation from species co-ordinators at both the Zoo Aquarium Association Australasia and the European Association of Zoos & Aquaria’s as part of the managed conservation programme for these stunning simians.

Rachael said “Suka, meaning ‘adored’, is a very sweet natured animal, a gentle boy who has been playfully interacting with his keepers, before being introduced to Basuki. Basuki has turned into quite a flirt and made it her mission to woo her new suiter.

“Both siamangs have a very similar playful nature and since being introduced always spend time together. The zoo team is very hopeful of them producing baby siamangs in the future. Basuki herself was the last siamang born at Orana in 2013.

“As part of the transfer of Suka, our beloved elderly siamang Peggy was transferred to Hamilton Zoo to be a companion for her elderly father Itam and has settled in nicely there. Peggy was the first female siamang to arrive at Orana (in 2005). “Peggy was a very sweet natured animal and produced three youngsters whilst here. Our team miss her but are delighted to welcome Suka”.

“Siamangs are known as lesser apes and are arboreal inhabitants of Malaysia and Indonesia. Their distinguishing feature is a large throat sac that they use to make socially important vocalisations or songs. “We have been thrilled to hear Suka and Basuki singing together,” concludes Rachael.

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch

Chris Lynch is a journalist, videographer and content producer, broadcasting from his independent news and production company in Christchurch, New Zealand. If you have a news tip or are interested in video content, email [email protected]

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