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!



  1. Rebecca Watkins on March 20, 2015 at 11:54 am

    Gus!! :-)

  2. Ruthann Chesney on March 21, 2015 at 7:35 pm

    Louie Louie

  3. Kristie Gill on March 23, 2015 at 10:42 am

    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. :)

    • Sharon on March 23, 2015 at 11:07 am

      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!

  4. Rita Colleton on March 25, 2015 at 7:14 am

    Louie Louie

  5. Blake Monson on March 25, 2015 at 7:16 am

    Spanky is the “man”

  6. Reyne Miller on March 25, 2015 at 7:16 am

    My vote goes to Louie Louie!

  7. Sherry on March 25, 2015 at 7:38 am


    • Josefine Joyce on March 26, 2015 at 9:51 am

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

      • Sharon on March 27, 2015 at 10:22 am

        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!

  8. sandy on March 25, 2015 at 7:39 am

    Louie-Louie..his eyes are yearning

  9. Tracy haney on March 25, 2015 at 7:49 am

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

  10. Patty Austin on March 25, 2015 at 8:19 am


  11. Diane Yeoman on March 25, 2015 at 8:37 am


  12. Mimi on March 25, 2015 at 8:58 am


  13. Barbara J Franklin on March 25, 2015 at 10:02 am

    I vote for “Louie – Louie”……

  14. Rita Rozier on March 25, 2015 at 3:01 pm

    Spanky is the man!

  15. Pam Taylor on March 26, 2015 at 7:22 am

    Maynard is the one!!

  16. Jennifer Shelden-Jubik on April 14, 2015 at 11:25 pm

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