An elderly white-handed gibbon who lived his entire life at the Santa Barbara Zoo died on Tuesday, Santa Barbara Zoo officials announced.
Gulliver, who would have celebrated his 40th birthday next week, died after battling a brief illness.
“Gulliver has been a part of the Santa Barbara Zoo family for nearly four decades,” said Zoo Director Nancy McToldridge. “I have known and loved him for 34 of those years. During his life, Gulliver inspired millions of people to care about wild creatures in wild places.”
Gulliver was born at the zoo on July 28, 1976, with his longtime mate, Jasmine, arriving at the zoo three years later. Their loud “whooping” calls could be heard throughout the zoo where they delighted guests from around the world with their arboreal aeronautics.
The pair could be seen often swinging on roped and climbing trees.
Here’s a fun fact. In 2015, both Gulliver and Jasmine selected the ingredients to be used in the signature beers for the “Zoo Brew,” a popular benefit fundraiser for the Santa Barbara Zoo.
“It is always hard to lose any animal, especially for the people who care for them on a daily basis. He will be missed,” said McToldridge.