Whooping it up for love: Has one special bachelor already stolen Mia’s heart?

Mia, a female gibbon new to the sanctuary, is looking for a suitor at the International Primate Protection League.

SUMMERVILLE — Mia may have made up her mind.

Now, don’t moan. There’s still time to vote which of four eligible bachelor gibbons will get the hand of the evidently easy-on-the-eyes primate that’s been eliciting whoops since she arrived at the International Primate Protection League sanctuary outside Summerville. The voting deadline is Friday.

But, well, the 23-year-old Mia and one of the four “have been spotted sitting close,” said Tina McCoy, of the league.

Gibbons are the long-armed, graceful acrobats of Asian primates. They swing and somersault like trapeze artists along the wiring and ropes in their high-ceilinged cages. The sanctuary is also headquarters for the league, which works with primate conservationists and sanctuaries in 31 countries.

Mia came from Mississippi’s Jackson Zoo.

Gibbons mate for life, and much like the rose-proffering Bachelorette on TV, the female decides for herself. So when Mia arrived recently, the league made a contest out of it. Her mate will be one among four unmatched, vasectomized males — playful Louie Louie, bad boy Maynard, toughie Gus or women-loving Spanky.

You’ve been invited to go online to vote who you think she’ll pick. One of the winners will be drawn “from the hat” and given a rare tour of the sanctuary with its 37 gibbons.

The sanctuary isn’t open to the public. So this is a visit not to be missed. Gibbons are known for a reverberating, singsong whooping that echoes back and forth among them at the sanctuary. They are so mischievous that anyone who strays too close to the chicken wire could have their hair pulled. They are gregariously social and affectionate, often touching, grooming or simply snuggling against each other.

More than 240 votes already have been cast, and there’s a clear leader. As for which one Mia seems to be courting with — ah, no, that would be telling. But maybe we’ll hum a few bars.

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