Cho Cho has discovered the secret to a long life.
The siamang is the oldest of his species of small apes in human care and will celebrate his 50th birthday this week at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium.
Most siamangs live to be about 24, according to the Association of Zoos & Aquarium.
Cho Cho lives in the Asian Forest Sanctuary with companion Dudlee, 22.
“Cho Cho is definitely the more laid back of the two,” said Telena Walsh, senior staff biologist for that exhibit. “He’s active and in good health, and a joy for visitors to watch.”
The siamangs spend their days swinging from ropes and poles and lounging in hammocks.
Visitors usually remember their loud calls, which can be heard a mile away. They communicate with a cacophony of hoots, barks and caws, typically in the early morning.
Cho Cho may be old, but he appears to be in great health. His last physical showed no medical problems.
To celebrate Cho Cho’s birthday, zoo staff are throwing a Primate Party this weekend that will include white-cheeked gibbons, black-and-white ruffed lemurs and ring-tailed lemurs.
Cho Cho has been in Tacoma since moving from Oregon Zoo in 2009. Dudlee arrived in 2004.
Stacia Glenn: 253-597-8653