Critically Endangered Species Welcomed To Oregon Zoo
Since 1888, the Oregon Zoo has provided a home for a number of species from the largest of animals to the smallest. Roughly 1.5 million people a year visit the Zoo to animals that are plentiful in nature as well as those who are less so.
The community supported Oregon Zoo is home to, and protects, more than 20 endangered and/or threatened species from California Condors to Oregon Silverspot Butterflies. This past weekend they welcomed another guest that is part of a critically endangered species.
Harper is a 7-year-old white cheeked gibbon monkey who was born at Disney's Animal Kingdom in 2015. She was brought in to bond with Duffy, who is also a white cheeked gibbon monkey, who has been at the Oregon Zoo.
Harper is white or tan in color because as female white cheeked gibbons get closer to adulthood they get lighter in color whereas with males, like Duffy, their fur stays black.
Why Was Harper Brought to the Oregon Zoo?
According to the official release from the Oregon Zoo, Harper was brought there on the recommendation of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Species Survival Plan for gibbon. It is a cooperative program among accredited zoos "to promote genetically diverse, self-sustaining populations of at-risk species."
The International Union for Conservation of Nature lists white cheeked gibbons as critically endangered as they have seen an 80 percent decline of their population over the last 50 years. Factors such as poaching along with habitat loss have played a major role in reducing their numbers.