Endangered Gibbons get a helping hand in the New Year
IAR is one of three animal welfare groups to have partnered in the relocation of five Sumatran Agile gibbons and eight siamangs in Indonesia. The primates were moved from Cikananga Animal Rescue Centre (PPSC) to Marak island off the west coast of Sumatra, Indonesia. IAR worked jointly with the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) and the Kalaweit Foundation to find a new home for the animals and move them safely.
The group of gibbons and siamangs had originally been confiscated from the illegal pet trade by the Indonesian Forestry Department and were held in Cikananga while a more suitable home was sought for them. The animals have now been successfully relocated to their native home range in Sumatra and will undergo rehabilitation before their return to the wild.
Gibbons are small agile apes that live in subtropical rainforests in Southeast, South and East Asia. While the illegal pet trade takes a heavy toll on wild populations, the principal threat to gibbons is loss of habitat. Known for their long hands and fingers and ability to swing from tree to tree, gibbons suffer from the consequences of deforestation as palm oil production is leading to clearing of natural forests and consequently reducing their prime habitat.
The 13 rescued Sumatran agile gibbons and siamangs will now join more than 100 other rescued gibbons in Kalaweit Foundation’s 1000-hectare rehabilitation island.
Alan Knight, CEO of IAR, said: "Our team in Indonesia is already working to rescue slow lorises from the pet markets of Indonesia. However, to be able to help other endangered primates by partnering with IFAW and the Kalaweit Foundation is a great start to the New Year. Such joint operations are vital if we are to save highly threatened species like these gibbons and siamangs from extinction."
"The animals will be kept in a secure environment for a year, fed natural foods, given ample opportunity for social interactions, and will live in a natural habitat", said Kalaweit Director, Dr. Chanee.