A gibbon described by a Dickerson Park Zoo staffer as the “sweetest gibbon we’ve ever had here” died on Friday after battling an illness.
Lucu, 12, died from an acute bacterial infection that did not respond to treatment according to senior zookeeper Melissa Dickson.
“He tried very hard to help us help him,” Dickson stated in a Zoo press release.
Lucu was part of a breeding program at the Dickerson Park Zoo to help repopulate his species around the world. The siamang is considered to be an “endangered” species, which on the International Union for Conservation of Nature scale means the species is “likely to become extinct.” It is the second most severe “endangered” status of wild animal populations behind “critically endangered.”
A mating pair of siamangs will stay together for life so keepers are paying close attention to his mate Makali. As part of the breeding program to help save siamangs, Makali could receive a new mate at the Dickerson Park Zoo or be moved to another zoo.