A new animal arrived recently at the Great Bend Brit Spaugh Zoo. “Zito” is a 22-year-old Lar gibbon, which is also a new species for the zoo, Curator and Supervisor Sara Hamlin said.
“Zito moved here on Nov. 10th from Lincoln Children’s Zoo,” Hamlin said. “He wasn’t getting along with a younger brother and needed to be moved to alleviate stress between the two.” He was placed with the Great Bend Zoo through the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’s gibbon species survival plan.
Great Bend has received other animals through the AZA. The American Species Survival Plan or SSP program was developed in 1981 by the AZA to help ensure the survival of selected species in zoos and aquariums, most of which are threatened or endangered in the wild.
“We are very excited to house such a special species here at our zoo for the first time,” Hamilin said. “Lar gibbons are native to Southeast Asia and are considered endangered due to deforestation.
“Our hope is that the SSP will place us with a female in the coming year to be a companion for him, though it will be up to the SSP to decide if it will a breeding recommendation or not.”
Zito is currently in his 30-day quarantine period and not available for public viewing. Members of the Great Bend Zoological Society always have the first opportunities to view new animals at special events.