Siamang

GLOBAL DISTRIBUTION/RANGE: 
Mainland Malaysia, Sumatra.

DIET: 
(Herbivore) In the wild-leaves, fruit, flowers, buds, insects; In the Zoo-leaf eater pellets, canned primate diet, fruit, vegetables.

HABITAT: 
Rainforests at all elevations.

DESCRIPTION: 
Siamangs are Lesser Primates related to gibbons. They have a web between the second and third toes of the hind feet. Their hands are much like humans, with the thumb greatly separated from the fingers. This allows a wider range of movement. 

DID YOU KNOW? 
The genus name, Hylobates, means "dweller in the trees." They move by brachiation, a method of locomotion where the arms are extended above the head and used to suspend and propel the body. Brachiation enables gibbons and siamangs to cover up to 10 ft (3m) in one swing. When walking upright, their arms are held overhead for balance. They can also leap from branch to branch, covering 30 ft (9 m) or more. Siamangs and gibbons do not swim, therefore bodies of water like the moat in our Zoo can contain them. Siamangs are usually found in trees 82-98 ft (25-30 m) above the ground. They live in monogamous pairs with 1 or 2 offspring. Social grooming improves group bonds.

MORE ABOUT OUR ANIMALS:
We have a family of three siamangs. Our male Teja was born at the Portland, Oregon Zoo on March 7, 1990 and arrived in El Paso on October 10, 1995. Our adult female, Suni, was born at the Tulsa Zoo on August 10, 1991 and arrived in El Paso on August 22, 1995. Teja and Suni have had two female babies together. One baby grew up and moved to the Fresno Zoo to be a companion to a lone male.  Our youngest Adinda was born here on May 2, 2011. 

HOW YOU CAN GET INVOLVED IN CONSERVATION EFFORTS: 
Read about siamangs online and check out books from your local library. Become a member of the El Paso Zoological Society. Funds raised by the Society are used to support conservation efforts at the El Paso Zoo and in the wild.  

JUST FOR KIDS: 
One of the most interesting family activities at the El Paso Zoo is to arrive when the Zoo first opens and head straight for the siamang exhibit. Siamangs are legendary here in El Paso for making amazingly loud sounds first thing in the morning. Their songs include hoots, booms and barks using their inflatable throat sacs. They do all this on most days as a way of claiming their territory.