The Calgary Zoo Just Got Wilder

Posted on July 22

Calgary, AB – The Calgary Zoo announced earlier today that the newly re-imagined “Gateway to Asia” building (formerly known as “Panda Passage”) has re-opened for visitors with the Calgary Zoo’s newest residents making their public debut.

On June 29, 2021, the Calgary Zoo announced the arrival of Malayan tapir, Tanuck, on their social media channels as just one of the new residents to the space. The zoo unveiled today that the other new species to join Tanuck and Komodo dragon brothers, ‘Thorn’ and ‘Shruikan’ are white-handed gibbon siblings, ‘Majimel’ and ‘Maximus’.

“Our Animal Care, Health, & Welfare team have gotten to know ‘Majimel’, ‘Maximus’ and ‘Tanuck’ since their arrival in early May and June, and they have stolen our hearts”, said Jamie Dorgan, Director of Animal Care, Health and Welfare. “We’re very excited for our community to have the opportunity to learn more about some of the incredible species that call Asia’s forests home. We have a role to play in helping species-at-risk by making sustainable choices that can help save critical rainforest habitat. As you step inside and see the forest through their eyes - we hope to help make those important connections between these endangered creatures and conservation action.”

Tanuck joins the Calgary Zoo from Parc Safari in Hemmingford, Quebec. He was born on June 29, 2001 and is 20 years old. Tanuck is not entirely 'new' to the Calgary Zoo. He was previously a Calgary Zoo resident from 2002 – 2003. The Malayan tapir (Tapirus indicus), also called the Asian tapir, is the largest of the five species of tapir and the only one native to Asia. In the wild, Malayan tapirs are found in Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar, Thailand, and Malaysia.

The two male white-handed gibbons join the Calgary Zoo from Safari Niagara in Stevensville, Ontario. Majimel is 7 years old (born on January 20, 2014) and Maximus is 4 years old (born on December 30, 2016). They share the same sire (dad) and dam (mom) making them full siblings. White-handed gibbons (Hylobates lar) also known as the lar gibbon, are native to the tropical rainforests of Southern and Southeast Asia - inhabiting the countries of Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand, and Laos.

Malayan tapirs and white-handed gibbons are classified as “Endangered” while Komodo dragons are classified as “Vulnerable". The wild populations of these incredible species are decreasing significantly every year mainly due to habitat loss from deforestation for logging, road construction, and agriculture. You can help conserve precious forest habitat by ensuring the everyday paper and wood products you purchase are Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified. Products that have the FSC logo have been sourced in an environmentally friendly, socially responsible, and economically viable way. When you choose FSC certified products, you are making a choice to support a healthy future for forest communities - human, plant, and animal - to enjoy now and into the future.

Timed ticketing is no longer in place at the Calgary Zoo so if you want to visit these incredible species old and new, head down to the Calgary Zoo daily from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. for a WILD summer adventure. The last entry at the North Gate is 4:00 p.m. for the public and 5:00 p.m. for members. The zoo grounds close at 6:00 p.m. Tickets can be purchased in person at the North Gate or online at

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For more information contact:
Alison Archambault
Director, Brand & Engagement
403.232.7766 | 403.919.9482 | [email protected]

The Calgary Zoo is a globally recognized conservation organization that guides, innovates, and applies scientific solutions to restore some of the world’s most endangered species. Locally and globally, we take action in the wild every day to yield powerful benefits for nature and for people. Our over 1,000 employees and volunteers are passionate about inspiring people to take action to sustain wildlife and wild places, welcoming over 1.3 million guests annually. As visitors discover the rare and endangered species that we love and care for at our facilities, they are directly contributing through admission and on-grounds sales to a not-for-profit charitable conservation organization that works to fight extinction of plants and animals worldwide.