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Friday, June 14, 2024

Japan. Mysterious pregnancy of a female gibbon. The zoo dissolved it years later

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Animal keepers at the Japanese zoo in Sasebo have solved the mystery of the pregnancy of a 12-year-old female white-handed gibbon. Momo gave birth, although it shouldn’t have happened.

A 12-year-old female white-handed gibbon named Momo shocked her keepers at the Sasebo Zoo in Nagasaki Prefecture when she gave birth to a cub in February 2021. Her pregnancy was a mystery because the female gibbon lived alone in a cage.

Two years later, after conducting a DNA test on Momo’s offspring, zoo staff determined who the father was. They even have a theory about how conception happened.

Mysterious pregnancy

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A DNA test showed that the father is Itō, a 34-year-old black-handed gibbon (Hylobates agilis) who was in the next room right next to Momo’s cage at the time she became pregnant. Zoo staff told CNN that they believe Momo and Itō were able to connect through a small hole in a steel plate between their enclosures. The hole was about nine millimeters in diameter.

The two-kilogram baby is growing healthily.

“We will look after him and hope he lives a long time,” said Hideki Hisano, deputy director of the zoo.

White-handed gibbon (Hylobates lar) – pic. illustrativeShutterstock

Main photo source: Shutterstock



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