The El Paso Zoo is excited to announce the arrival of a 5-month-old baby female siamang from the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium.
The infant named Deja will be foster-reared by El Paso zoo staff and introduced to the two female siamangs who are currently at the zoo, mother Suni and daughter Adina. Deja was born on August 5 and had been hand-raised by Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium animal care staff because her mother rejected her at birth.
Zoo experts decided that the best long-term outcome for Deja would be to integrate her into another siamang family.
The Association of Zoos and Aquariums advisory group for this species recommended the El Paso Zoo to foster Deja because El Paso siamang Suni has successfully raised two of her own daughters at the zoo.
The plan is for El Paso zookeepers to take care of Deja as Suni and Adinda observe and get to know her. Zoo guests will be able to see Deja being cared for by zookeepers at limited scheduled times in a day room located in the Asia Forest Complex.
Once Suni and Adinda accept Deja and Deja accepts them, she will join the siamang family full time with supportive bottle feedings from zookeepers.
Siamangs are in the gibbon family, which is in the larger group of apes that include gorillas and chimpanzees. They live in small families composed of a mated pair and usually two generations of their offspring. Siamangs are declining in numbers as their habitat is destroyed for logging and expanding palm oil plantations and as poachers kill the mothers in order to capture the young for the lucrative pet trade.
The El Paso Zoo supports various conservation programs to help siamangs and other endangered species in Asia including the Species Survival Program and the Indonesia Species Conservation Program. To learn more about the El Paso Zoo visit their website.