Big celebrations have taken place at Twycross Zoo (near Atherstone Warwickshire) today as one of their lar gibbons turned 50 years of age!
Believed to be the oldest lar gibbon in the UK, Jane - known affectionately by her keepers as 'Granny Jane' - has lived at Twycross Zoo since 1966, just three years after the zoo opened.
Deputy Curator, Julian Chapman, said: "We are very pleased to report that Jane, our oldest gibbon here at Twycross Zoo, turned 50 years old today. Normally captive gibbons live until their late 30s/early 40s so she's doing very well.
"Jane can be seen swinging around her enclosure within our Primate House, and she's surprisingly agile for her age. She lives with 'Smiler', another long term resident at the Zoo, who turns 50 next year.
"Jane is well-loved amongst keepers and staff here at the Zoo and she has done an incredible job raising her young. Her oldest surviving offspring is Gail, a female born in 1976 that lives at South Lakes Wild Animal Park and she has descendants at 6 different European zoos'. She is a great grandmother to 2 young lar gibbons at Falconara Zoo, Italy and has had a total of 13 offspring over the years."
The lar gibbon is listed as 'endangered' on the IUCN Redlist. Jane's offspring have and will continue to play an incredibly important role towards the on-going conservation of this species.
Jane is on show within her enclosure at Twycross Zoo.