It is with great sadness that we announce the death of Nikko, who came to us from Oakland Zoo to become part of the Santa Barbara Zoo’s gibbon family. Read press release for the full story.


  • 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.”


  • 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
  • Wraps herself in blankets or sheets and puts them over her head at bedtime

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)