A few hundred meters away from where the Red-Shanked Douc Langur troop live are the four islands surrounded by shallow moats, each island being home to a different species of Gibbon. I have spent many pleasurable hours over the years listening to their bellowing calls and songs, watching and photographing them interact with their partners, swinging with such grace and seemingly effortless agility through the trees, and on occasion running across the ground with both arms held high in the air; although this is no doubt more for balance than to keep visitors amused ;^)
The subjects you see here are White-Cheeked Gibbons, a mother with her baby boy who was born Khao Kheow Open Zoo (Chonburi, Thailand) on 5th November 2011. White-Cheeked Gibbons are native to Vietnam, Laos and the Yunnan Province of China, though their numbers in the wild are rapidly diminishing and their species is listed as Critically Endangered, which makes the birth and apparent good health of this young one all the more important.
For those of you who may have missed it, I posted up a picture of his father a couple of weeks back entitled Three-Sided Mohawk. As you can see from the picture above, with the exception of the black marking on the top of her head, the young male has a very similar appearance to his mother, which has me amazed to think that at some point in the future colouration will change completely to that of his father.
I know that such changes take place along the journey from birth to adulthood in many different species of animals, but somehow I'm finding it difficult to imagine how this transition will take place, as this all-white coat of this baby Gibbon will eventually transform into completely black, bar prominently sharp edged white fur on it's cheeks and that delightful looking mohawk … truth be told, if I hadn't actually seen his little gender identifier myself, I'd have sworn the handlers at Khao Kheow Open Zoo were wrong and pronounced him a girl – LOL ;^)