Norfolk, Va. (WRIC) – The new little monkey at the Virginia Zoo now has a new name in honor of the late conservationist.
In August, the zoo The naming contest has begun For their last siamang baby born in June. On Friday, September 9, the zoo announced the names of the winners.
According to the Virginia Zoo, the name was chosen by donors who donated $2,000 to support the zoo’s wildlife fund and decided to name Siamang “Lovejoy.”
The name is in honor of the donor’s family friend, Dr. Thomas E. Lovejoy, a noted environmentalist and conservationist. According to the zoo, Dr. Lovejoy, credited with coining the term “biodiversity,” has served on scientific advisory boards for three different presidential administrations and has spent more than 40 years researching, educating and advocating for the Amazon and its tropical nature. . Dr. Lovejoy passed away last year.
Little Lovejoy is siamang, a species of gibbon. Gibbons are primates, also called “little apes”. Native to Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand, they are known for their distinctive sounds and “songs” that can be heard a mile away. The species is listed as critically endangered due to habitat damage and hunting, according to the zoo.
Lovejoy was born on June 26, and zoo staff are thrilled with what the newborn means not just for the zoo, but for an endangered species.
“The Siamese birth is a great addition to this critically endangered little ape,” said Virginia Zoo executive director Greg Bockheim. “Watching babies grow and interact with their families is something special for all of us.”
Currently, the zoo says the siamang family can be seen in the zoo’s Tiger Road lounge from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The zoo is open daily from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. and is located at 3500 Granby Street, Norfolk. Daily admission is $17.95 for anyone 12 and older, $15.95 for seniors 62 and older, and $14.95 for children under 12.