New Baby Gibbon: Meet Dennis

The Gibbon Conservation Center in Santa Clarita welcomes a sweet addition.

MODERN FACT: It's a truth we all embrace nowadays: Baby photos rule social media. Cooing photos and smiling photos and newborn photos are popular and prevalent, and with good reason, given that new parents want their friends and family to know what exactly is happening with the newest member of the posse. The Gibbon Conservation Center in Santa Clarita is definitely into this vibe as well. When baby Dennis arrived in the world on Sunday, Oct. 28, the awww-summoning snapshots started up on Facebook. A kiss from an older sister? A cuddle from mom? Every fresh pic following the baby's birth brought another heart tug.

BUT... it isn't always possible, when baby pictures are squeed over, to go visit the baby in question, especially if the parents are still setting up the nursery or resting up from the big day. But you can see Dennis and mom Ricky right now, or on an upcoming Saturday or Sunday, rather, at the center, which is "the only institution in the world to house and breed all four genera of gibbon." The Santa Clarita animal outpost has been protecting, working with, and fighting on behalf of gibbons since 1976, when it was started by Alan Richard Mootnick. Educating the public, too, has been a big goal of the GCC.

WHICH IS WHY... you can hop on a weekend morning tour for ten bucks. One exception: There's a special fundraiser on the morning of Nov. 2, which is $60. You'll learn a lot about the simians, their specials "songs" (they're quite vocal), and all of their many quirks, habits, methods of communicating, and ways of living.

MORE ABOUT DENNIS: He's a white-cheeked gibbon, a species that is "critically endangered with less than a thousand left in the wild," per the center. Dennis also comes by his cute name via a son of a friend of the center and a relative to Mr. Mootnick. It's family place in many ways, among the gibbons, the people, the staffers, and all who come to learn more and admire the beautiful primates.

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