Meet the acrobat of the primate world!

Find Hazel, our white-handed gibbon, living with the orangutans on their island home. White-handed gibbons, also known as lar gibbons, have been entertaining guests at Jersey Zoo since the first breeding pair arrived in 1997.

Hazel’s acrobatic swinging and awe-inspiring athleticism is guaranteed to put a smile on your face. Gibbons walk upright along branches almost like they’re walking the tightrope and use their long arms to swing from tree to tree like a trapeze artist!

Hazel may be an older lady but you’ll still see her keeping up with the younger orangutans!

Lar Gibbon 2021 05
Animal facts

Key facts about the white-handed gibbon

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I'm found in southeast Asia

White-handed gibbons live in the treetops of forests in Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia and Thailand.

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My favourite food is fruit

White-handed gibbons mostly eat fruit, but will also eat leaves, flowers and insects.

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My arms are 1.5x longer than my legs

Gibbons live in the canopy of the forest and use their long arms to swing effortlessly from branch to branch.


Estimated wild population

10 metres

Gibbons can leap

44 years

Oldest gibbon in captivity

A white-handed gibbon perched on a log at Jersey Zoo

An uncertain future for the white-handed gibbon

Despite being regarded as the least-threatened of their species, the white-handed gibbon still faces an uncertain future in the wild. Like so many of the species we look after at Jersey Zoo, the ongoing destruction of their natural habitat is the biggest threat they face.

Rainforests in Northern Sumatra where white-handed gibbons are found are being cleared at an alarming rate to make way for farms, plantations and natural resource exploration.

White-handed gibbon swings across a rope at Jersey Zoo

Captive research supports their wild counterparts

Durrell first began working with the white-handed gibbon in 1997, with the arrival of a breeding pair from Twycross Zoo. Since then, our team has focused on developing successful husbandry methods to safeguard the most threatened gibbon species from extinction.

Help us care for Hazel, the white-handed gibbon