Manitoba

Mozart, Merrick, Mele or Manas? Help pick a name for new baby gibbon at Winnipeg zoo

The Winnipeg zoo's cutest new resident needs a name, and you can help pick it.

Assiniboine Park Zoo says decision will be announced April 12

The Assiniboine Park Zoo wants the public's help to name the new baby gibbon. You can have your say by filling out the poll online. (Assiniboine Park Conservancy)

The Winnipeg zoo's cutest new resident needs a name, and you can help pick it.

The white-handed gibbon born at Assiniboine Park Zoo on March 10 still doesn't have a name, but you can vote for your favourite among the following choices:

  • Mozart, after the famed composer.
  • Merrick, which means fame, power or ruler.
  • Mele, a Hawaiian song or chant.
  • Manas, which means intelligence or mind.

People can vote online until midnight on Sunday, and the winning name will be announced on April 12.

All of the names start with M in honour of the baby's mother Maya and grandfather Mel. Two of the names are also music-themed because gibbons make vocalizations that are often referred to as singing.

Maya is now a mother of two. Her first baby Salju was born in 2019. (Assiniboine Park Conservancy)

The names are also gender neutral because while zoo staff suspect the baby is male, they haven't done a physical exam yet.

The baby's parents, Maya and Samson, were matched on a recommendation from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums species survival plan program.

In 2019, the two had their first child, Salju, who was the first baby gibbon born at the zoo's gibbon habitat, which opened in June 2017.

She was also named with the help of the public.

"With the arrival of spring and warmer weather, the gibbon family will start spending more time exploring outdoors," said Grant Furniss, the senior director of animal care and conservation.

"This is a great time to visit the zoo and our gibbon family."

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