Holly the gibbon finds 'autumn romance' in her final months

Toronto Zoo/Cover Images

Holly the 50-year-old gibbon was left heartbroken in her old age by the death of her mate, Lenny, in December 2021 - after an incredible 40 years together.

The red-headed primate was left alone in the habitat they shared at Toronto Zoo together.

White-handed gibbons are one of the few monogamous, pair-bonded primates and it was clear Holly was feeling the loss of her mate.

However, the bereaved ape wasn't alone for too long as a similar story was unfolding in Moncton, New Brunswick - where a 32-year-old male named Hoot was also experiencing the loss of a mate.

When the moment arrived, Hoot and Holly were introduced but separated by a barrier so they could still smell and hear one another.

Finally, the time came to introduce the two gibbons to one another completely. To everyone's delight, Hoot and Holly formed an instant connection, and the two were regularly seen hanging around their habitat side by side for most of each day.

Unfortunately, due to her advancing years, Holly passed away in early November. But at least she got to experience one last romance with Hoot - who will now be looking for a new mate.