In Sumatra’s first-ever rehabilitation center for a special kind of singing primate, their first two residents not only recovered from stints in illegal captivity, but have also been reintroduced successfully back into the wild.
Siamang gibbons are famous for their various calling tones which they generate with their large throat sacks and can be heard from 2 miles away. For this reason, they’re often taken and sold illegally as pets.
The Aspinall Foundation teamed up with national and local government ministries in Indonesia to create a dedicated rehabilitation center at a place called Punti Kayu in the southern reaches of the island of Sumatra.
Here, siamang gibbons held by wildlife authorities or captured by police can re-learn how to live alongside other members of their species, how to find food, how to pursue their monogamous relationships, and how to call.
The center’s first resident siamangs, Jon and Cimung, were released on December 23rd into a protected forest area. Conservationists followed them as they made their way through the trees and eventually started calling—the perfect sign that their wild instincts were intact.
“All gibbons sing, but siamangs are the loudest,” said Made Wedana, country director for the Indonesia program of the Aspinall Foundation wildlife charity. They’re also very beautiful animals, and… very rare in the wild.”
The siamang gibbon is classified as endangered by the IUCN’s Red List, and little information exists for the rehabilitation center to build off of. Instead, the Aspinall Foundation is utilizing years of work from the Javan Primate Rehab and Release program which it runs on the principal island of Indonesia.
Anyone interested in contributing to this important conservation work can donate to the Aspinall Foundation here.
WATCH an unrelated video of these gibbons singing…
This article by Andy Corbley was first published by The Good News Network on 10 January 2024. Lead Image: A siamang gibbon in a Florida zoo – CC 2.0. cuatrok77.
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