We are delighted to announce some great news: we have a new gibbon at the IPPL sanctuary!

Mia, our newest gibbon
Mia, our newest gibbon, checks out the neighborhood.


Mia is being retired from the Jackson Zoo in Mississippi. Her previous mate, a gentle soul named Cookie Man, sadly passed away last June. That left Mia a widow. In addition, she had proved to be incapable of raising her own offspring (although her latest baby, a charming daughter named Jari, has been successfully hand-reared and is now with another gibbon).

Gibbons living in captivity at reputable zoos and similar facilities are tracked by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. The AZA oversees hundreds of “Species Survival Plans,” programs to manage the captive population of a given species as a whole and ensure the continuation of a “healthy, genetically diverse, and demographically varied” group of animals to be shared among the member institutions of the AZA.

Mia on the watch
Mia is being retired from a zoo in Mississippi. She is already adjusting well to her new home.


The Gibbon SSP coordinator, Jay Petersen, knew of Mia’s situation—and of IPPL’s fine reputation as a great place for gibbons, with a policy of not breeding our animals. Not only that, our Executive Director Shirley McGreal had informed him that we currently care for four single-housed males and would welcome any gibbon females who could be paired with them.

Jay recommended that Jackson Zoo send Mia to us, and we all soon agreed that this would be a win-win situation. After a few weather-related delays, Mia was driven from Mississippi by Jackson Zoo’s long-time vet tech, Donna Todd, and safely installed in Gibbon House #4 last Friday.

Hardy and Meg welcome Mia
Our caregivers Hardy (left) and Meg were all set to welcome Mia on her arrival last Friday.


After a few days to allow her to adjust to her new surroundings, we let her into her large outdoor enclosure Wednesday morning. Within five minutes, she was delivering the soaring white-handed gibbon “great call” and being answered by neighboring females. She was making great use of the available space, too—leaping and swinging energetically at the climax of her calls—and directing characteristic tight-lipped faces at Elizabeth across the way. All beautifully normal territorial gibbon behavior!

Mia in enclosure
This was taken moments after Mia was let into her large outdoor enclosure for the first time last Wednesday. She lost no time asserting herself and making the most of her new space!


We humans are not the only ones who are excited. Currently, we have four un-paired males, any of whom might appreciate a little female companionship:

  • Louie-Louie, a son of two lab gibbons, who was sadly widowed, himself, just last year.
  • Maynard, our favorite “bad boy,” who came from a small sanctuary where he had been housed with a capuchin.
  • Gus, a playful former pet, who came to IPPL in 2007 from another sanctuary.
  • Spanky, a handsome youngster and another former pet, who came to IPPL from Texas only last May.
[Update 3/25/15: You can vote here for a chance to win a tour of IPPL’s private sanctuary! Hurry: voting closes May 1!]

All of them are visible to Mia across IPPL’s main gibbon yard. Who do you think will turn out to be Mia’s lucky fella? We can’t wait to find out!



  • Rebecca Watkins
    March 20, 2015 11:54 am

    Gus!! :-)

  • Ruthann Chesney
    March 21, 2015 7:35 pm

    Louie Louie

  • Hello, I am Mia’s former keeper at the Jackson zoo. So glad to hear that she is doing so well! I’m so happy for her to be amongst other gibbons at your amazing facility. Can’t wait to see more pictures of her. If you ever have any questions about Mia feel free to email me. :)

    • Thank you, Kristie, and thanks for taking such good care of her! We are all delighted to have Mia be part of the IPPL gibbon chorus–which, by the way, is going on at this very moment!

  • Rita Colleton
    March 25, 2015 7:14 am

    Louie Louie

  • Blake Monson
    March 25, 2015 7:16 am

    Spanky is the “man”

  • Reyne Miller
    March 25, 2015 7:16 am

    My vote goes to Louie Louie!

  • Maynard!

    • Josefine Joyce
      March 26, 2015 9:51 am

      To me, MAYNARD would be a good choice for Mia. Good luck for a successfull breeding and BIRTH.

      • Actually, although we have had some accidental births here at IPPL (the last in 2002), we do not actively breed our gibbons, since none of the babies would ever have a chance of being returned to the wild. We make sure that any males that we pair with any females have been vasectomized. Also, Mia has already had several babies, and it turned out she was not capable of caring for any them, so it would not be a good idea to try motherhood with her again, anyway. We want her and her companion of choice to be very happy with each other, but we don’t plan on producing any babies!

  • Louie-Louie..his eyes are yearning

  • I Think Mia will choose Louie Louie!!! They all all very handsome though!!!

  • Patty Austin
    March 25, 2015 8:19 am


  • Diane Yeoman
    March 25, 2015 8:37 am


  • Louie-Louie

  • Barbara J Franklin
    March 25, 2015 10:02 am

    I vote for “Louie – Louie”……

  • Spanky is the man!

  • Maynard is the one!!

  • Jennifer Shelden-Jubik
    April 14, 2015 11:25 pm

    Louie Louie as he appears to look like he wants a companion :-)


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