• Arrived at the Zoo on October 23, 1979
  • Is an extremely long-lived gibbon at age 39, but is in good health for her age
  • Has tan fur, but coloration in this species is determined by genetics and not sex
  • Was longtime mate to Gulliver, who passed away in July 2016 just days before his 40th birthday
  • Successfully raised five offspring with Gulliver during nearly 30 years together, and outlived all but two of them: Riley, born in 2000, currently at Indianapolis Zoo, and Elliot, born in 2002, who is at Hogle Zoo (Salt Lake City). The pair also has many “grandchildren,” and five “great-grandchildren.”

NEW! Nikko

  • Was born at the Oakland Zoo and has been on view there for 35 years
  • Has a dedicated “fan club” in Oakland who use #dearnikko
  • His longtime mate died in January 2017
  • Is currently in quarantine, but may be spotted from the Zoo Train as it passes behind the gibbon holding area
  • Debut date to be determined by his interactions with Jasmine and Jari
  • Has dark fur like Jari, but is significantly larger

Welcome, Nikko!


  • Born on November 22, 2013 at the Jackson Zoo in Mississippi; was abandoned by her mother and hand-raised by keepers
  • Arrived in Santa Barbara in March 2017 to live with “foster mother” Jasmine as part of a Species Survival Plan of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA)
  • Name is pronounced “JAR-ee” and is the Indonesian word for “fingers”
  • Has dark fur and is around half the size of Jasmine and Nikko
  • Wraps herself in blankets or sheets and puts them over her head at bedtime
From the Keepers

Both Jasmine and Nikko have lost their mates of several decades. It will be great for them not to be alone, and to help raise Jari. She is young and always busy -- a lot of work. But they have to figure out how to get along, and it has to work for all three of them. We will do everything we can to help make the introductions as stress-free as possible. We look forward to sharing our new ‘blended family’ with our guests after quarantine and introductions are completed.

Michele GreenCurator of Mammals

Ape Blended Family

White-handed gibbons stay with their birth families for five to six years, and depend on them to learn how to vocalize, groom, play, and be independent. Luckily, the AZA has an ape surrogacy program for youngsters like Jari who need new families. In early 2017, the program coordinator chose Jasmine to provide companionship and to help further Jari’s gibbon education. In November 2018, they recommended that Nikko join them to provide adult company for Jasmine, and a father figure for Jari. The new blended family is getting to know each other and may not be on view together for several weeks.

Conservation Status

Gibbons are endangered according to the IUCN. Though they are nationally protected in Asian tropical rainforests throughout the countries in their range, inadequate management and lack of protection from poachers are the main threats to their survival.

Choose Sustainable Palm Oil

Many common foods and products contain palm oil collected from the forests of Asia. Choosing foods made with sustainable palm oil helps save animals, including gibbons. A free app with a sustainable shopping guide at helps you make the right choices (available at Google Play or iTunes)