We’re Howling with “Love” Joy
NORFOLK, VA – The Zoo’s adorable siamang infant has a name! The Zoo hosted a two-week online auction for the babe’s naming rights. The winner contributed more than $2,000 to name the baby, which will support the Zoo’s Act for Wildlife Fund. “Lovejoy” was the name chosen for the siamang baby, who was born on June 26 at the Virginia Zoo.
The name Lovejoy is a memorial dedication to the donor’s family friend, renowned conservationist and ecologist Dr. Thomas E. Lovejoy, who passed last year. Dr. Lovejoy is credited with coining the term “biodiversity”, served on scientific advisory councils for three different presidential administrations, and spent more than 40 years researching, educating, and advocating for the Amazon and its tropical wilderness.
Ten-week-old Lovejoy is bonding well with mom, Malana, and dad, Bali. The infant is starting to reach out with its hands and figure out what its hands and fingers are! A neo-natal exam has yet to be performed as mom and baby have not been separated in the interest of encouraging their natural bonding process. For the foreseeable future, the siamang family can be seen in their dayroom on the Trail of the Tiger from 9:30am – 3:30pm.
Zoo Fans can take action at home to help save siamangs and their habitats, including recycling products like glass and aluminum, which are made from elements that are excavated from siamangs’ native rainforest soil. Many of the paper products purchased in the United States come from trees cut down in Indonesia, so reducing paper use is another great way to help protect siamangs in the wild.
Native to the treetops in the tropical forests of Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand, siamangs are lesser apes with jet black fur. A siamang’s call includes “barks” and booms”, and their inflatable throat sac aids in amplifying their calls. Their special “song” can be heard more than a mile away. The species is listed as critically endangered due to factors such as destruction, degradation and fragmentation of their habitats, as well as hunting of the animals for their meat in some countries, and poaching of young siamangs for sale in the illegal pet trade.
About the Virginia Zoo
The Virginia Zoo, located in Norfolk, Virginia, is home to more than 700 exceptional animals representing over 150 fascinating species. Founded in 1901 and residing on 53 beautifully landscaped acres, the Virginia Zoo has demonstrated a commitment to saving and protecting the world’s wildlife by inspiring a passion for nature and taking conservation action at home and around the world. The Virginia Zoo is an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and is recognized as a global leader in education, recreation, science, wildlife conservation, and animal care and welfare. For more than a century, the Zoo has connected adults, families, and school children with the natural world and its wildlife. To learn more, visit www.virginiazoo.org.