White-Handed Gibbon

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Those distinctive “whooping” sounds heard throughout the Zoo? The calls of white-handed gibbons.


  • 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.”


  • Has dark fur and is around half the size of Jasmine
  • Name is pronounced “JAR-ee” and is the Indonesian word for “fingers”
  • 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)
  • Wraps herself in blankets or sheets and puts them over her head at bedtime

From the Keepers

“Jasmine has been very patient with Jari during their introductions. Jasmine obviously wanted to smell and touch her. Jari was curious but a bit standoffish. After just a couple of days, we saw them sitting together and Jari was letting Jasmine groom her. Jasmine has raised five offspring, and is a very good mother figure for this young ape.” – Heather

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)

Ape Surrogate Parents

White-handed gibbons stay with their mothers 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 a mother figure. After reviewing the database of white-handed gibbons in AZA-accredited zoos, the program coordinator identified Jasmine to provide companionship and to help further Jari’s gibbon education.