White-cheeked gibbon, Leilani, dies unexpectedly at Kansas City Zoo


Leilani, Image courtesy Kansas City Zoo

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A white-cheeked gibbon died unexpected Friday at the Kansas City Zoo.

Zoo officials said around 1:45 p.m., a staff member was alerted that a female gibbon named Leilani was in distress in the pool area of her habitat in the Tropics Building.

Animal care specialists responded and administered CPR, but Leilani was unable to be revived. A necropsy is being performed to determine her cause of death.

Leilani was born at the zoo on Feb. 15, 2020 to mom Kit, 16, and dad Smithers, 25.

“Understandably, our staff are extraordinarily saddened by this tragic loss, particularly those who care for the gibbons daily. Please keep all of the Zoo family in your thoughts during this difficult time,” zoo officials said in a statement.

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