Agile Gibbon, Hylobates agilis

The Agile Gibbon (Hylobates agilis), known also as the Black-Handed Gibbon, is an Old World primate belonging to the gibbon family. It can be found in Indonesia on the island of Sumatra, Malaysia, and southern Thailand. The species is classified as endangered on the IUCN Red List because of destruction of habitat and the pet trade.

The species is usually though to have subspecies, but some experts recognize a mountain form and a lowland form; the Mountain Agile Gibbon (Hylobates agilis agilis) and the Lowland Agile Gibbon (Hylobates agilis unko).

This Agile Gibbon has fur that varies from black to reddish brown. Its brown is white, and the male can be recognized by its white or light-grey colored cheeks. In addition, the male is lightly larger than the female. The Agile Gibbon weight from 8.8 to 13 pounds with an average 11 pounds, though while in captivity, it can reach 18 pounds. It has a head and a body length of about 17 to 25 inches. Similar to all gibbons, it does not have a tail.

Using its long arms, they swing on branches, brachiating at a fast pace. Similar to all gibbons, it resides in serially monogamous pairs in a strictly enforced territory, which is protected with vigorous visual displays and songs. The diet of this monkey is generally frugivorous but has also been observed eating flowers, leaves, and insects.

The females give birth to a single offspring after a 7 month gestation period. The young gibbon monkey is weaned at barely 2 years old. When it is fully mature, at about 8 years old, it leaves its family in order to look for a mate.

Image Caption: A beautiful male Agile Gibbon (Hylobates agilis) photographed at Bristol Zoo, UK. Credit: Julielangford/Wikipedia (CC BY-SA 3.0)