Injection training with gibbons

Photos by Mary Ellen Ostrander

Photos by Mary Ellen Sheets

I am sure everyone knows Dorothy and Bennett, our white-handed gibbons. They have been residing here at the Zoo for more than 30 years – yes that is right!

Dorothy is 43 years old and Benny is youthful 38 years old. We have recently started their first official training. We have taught Benny to allow us to put ointment on him; we are injection training with both. This means they allow us to give them an injection if they need one.

20130820_135412Usually this means one for tranquilizing once a year for their annual physicals. They are beginning to trust us and we always respect them. We have so much fun with this because gaining trust is tricky, especially with Dorothy who prefers a different game! Please come and see our white-handed gibbons as they partake in this new game, because they think that is what it is – it’s enriching to them as well as to us!

– Mary Ellen Ostrander, zoologist