OK, I confess: we don’t know Gus’s actual birth date. He was a former pet, and we never received his full records when he arrived at our sanctuary. But that’s no reason not to celebrate his “honorary” birthday, which we did last month with a popsicle party.

Gus's "birthday"

Gus, our honorary birthday boy!


Our Administrative Assistant Tina gladly recruited her kids to help create some fantastic frozen treats on behalf of one of her favorite gibbons. They cut up a variety of fruit (like kiwis, strawberries, blueberries, and grapes) and froze them with a little water in popsicle molds—using carrots as the “stick”! They also piled the fruit into ordinary ice cream cones, above a layer of raisins at the bottom.


A delightful variety of healthy frozen treats.


Gus, I’m happy to say, was very excited about the whole thing and, as our special “birthday boy,” was given both a popsicle and a cone. He especially loved his “ice fruit” cone, even though he insisted on eating it from the bottom up….

Gus, 2 choices

Gus got both a popsicle AND a cone.


Gus at bottom

Bottom’s up!


Gus eating from below

Gus defies tradition by eating the bottom of his cone first.


Gus and cone

You can tell Gus is really getting into it!


Of course, the other gibbons were permitted to join in the fun, as well. Most of them were offered their choice of treat, and cones generally beat out popsicles (ahhh, those carb-craving gibbons!), although both Scrappy and Ahimsa chose popsicles—and ate their carrot stick first. And Spanky got an extra back-scratch along with his cone, so he was in hog heaven! (Or would that be gibbon heaven?)


Scrappy ate his carrot “stick” first.



Happy Spanky!


A few (like our lab veteran Igor) remained suspicious of the novelty concept or (like Ziggy) didn’t want to touch the icy thing directly. Some of our gibbon couples (like Gary and Glenda) had to sort of negotiate who would take the treat directly (Glenda) and who would get to beg for his share (Gary).


Igor, somewhat suspicious of his frozen treat, devoured it only with his eyes….



Ziggy went for a hands-free experience.

Gary and Glenda

Glenda (right) has no problem accepting treats from our caregivers, but Gary is more diffident. He’ll beg for a share from his mate, which she will hand over to him. Then she’ll go get another treat for herself!


But any way you look at it, it was a fun way to beat the summer heat. (For the humans, too!)



  1. Donna TichenorDonnatich on July 12, 2014 at 4:05 am

    Loved all the pictures. Can’t wait to get down there!

    • Sharon on July 14, 2014 at 8:51 am

      Donna, I know you’ll enjoy getting to meet the gang!