Party with Primates at Point Defiance

If you’re planning a trip to the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium this weekend, don’t forget to bring your party hats because a resident of the zoo’s Asian Forest Sanctuary habitat is celebrating a very special birthday.

Fifty-year-old Cho Cho, a small ape known as a siamang (pronounced sigh-amang), has lived at Point Defiance with his 22-year-old female companion, Dudlee, since 2009.

What is particularly extraordinary about Cho Cho’s half-century on Earth, is that the Association of Zoos & Aquariums postulate the median life expectancy for a siamang to be approximately 24 years, making him the oldest known siamang in human care.

While Cho Cho is basically a senior citizen within his species, the zoo veterinarians said, “He passed his last physical with flying colors.”

In recognition of Cho Cho’s birthday and incredible longevity, the zoo will be throwing a Primate Party Aug. 12 and 13. The weekend-long event will not only celebrate Cho Cho, but the zoo’s entire endangered primate population, including white-cheeked gibbons, black-and-white ruffed lemurs, and ring-tailed lemurs.

As part of the party, the primates will receive special treats while they frolic and play on their swings. Zoo guests can attend special talks with keepers that will call attention to the plight these animals face in their natural habitat.

For more information about this Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium event and others, visit them online.

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is a staff writer at South Sound magazine. Email her.
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