Born: 1958 (estimated) *we celebrate his birthday on May 23rd*
Favorite food: Raisin bread
Favorite activity: Dancing
Blackie arrived at IPPL with his mate Penny and their daughter E.T. in 1984 from the Laboratory for Experimental Medicine and Surgery in Primates (LEMSIP) of the New York University Medical Center. They were used in research for over 20 years before they came to IPPL and got to join their daughter, Shanti, who was sent here the previous year. Penny sadly passed away in 2006 at around 55 years of age and it wasn’t until March of 2010 that Blackie was placed with a new female gibbon named Chloe. The two of them bonded quickly and spend a good portion of their days playing and wrestling.
Even though Blackie is one of the oldest gibbons on the property he is still extremely active. Sometimes, he’ll do an excited quick-stomping dance routine and will move like a ballerina, twirling around with his arms flung in the air. Blackie is deaf, but you would never know as his disability doesn’t interfere with his quality of life. We have noticed that Blackie’s vocalizations are deeper and less controlled than those of the other male gibbons, but he still often “whoops” along with the other gibbons when he sees them singing, just like he’s reading lips!