In 2020, a female white-cheeked gibbon named Leilani at the Tama Zoological Park in Tokyo, Japan, gave birth to a healthy baby, despite living alone in her enclosure for the previous seven years. Since there was no male gibbon in her enclosure during that time, the zookeepers were initially baffled about how she could have become pregnant.
However, after conducting genetic analysis, the zookeepers found that the baby gibbon’s father was most likely another male gibbon who lived in an adjacent enclosure. It is believed that the two gibbons managed to mate through a narrow gap in their enclosures’ fence, which was not previously known to the zookeepers.
This incident highlights the complexity of animal behavior and the importance of providing animals with suitable environments that allow them to express their natural behaviors. Additionally, it also emphasizes the need for careful monitoring of animal behavior and the use of advanced technology, such as genetic analysis, to help understand and manage animal populations in zoos.