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Pileated gibbon

Hylobates pileatus

Pileated gibbons at Paignton Zoo
IUCN Conservation Status –
Least Concern
Extinct In The Wild
Class: Mammals
Order: Primates
Family: Hylobatidae

Our pileated gibbons live on the large island in the middle of the main lake. 

This primate can today be found in tropical forests and dense evergreens, but only in the regions of southeast Thailand and northwest Cambodia, Asia.

Pileated gibbons in the wild are mainly frugivores – most of their diet consists of fruit! However they do also eat leaves and insects.

Interesting facts!

  • The pileated gibbon is sexually dimorphic with the colour of their fur. Males have a black fur, while the females have a white–grey coloured fur with only the belly and head being black.
  • These arboreal mammals tend to live in monogamous pairs and form small family groups with their offspring. This family unit is exactly what our pileated gibbon group is at the zoo!
  • Gibbons are very agile and can swing through the trees at speeds up to 35mph.


There is thought to be around 65,000 pileated gibbons remaining in the wild today. Their main threat is habitat loss, with the wild forest they live in being converted into farmland. There are active conservation attempts to survey and increase the species’ numbers, both in the wild and in zoos.

Paignton Zoo is one of only four UK zoos to house pileated gibbons. Our family group are part of the EAZA ex-situ breeding programme for this Endangered primate.