Pair of Siamang Gibbons Released into the Wild After Being Rescued from the Pet Trade

Pair of Siamang Gibbons Released into the Wild After Being Rescued from the Pet Trade

Native to the Malay Peninsula and Sumatra, Siamang gibbons are an endangered species. Yet this does not stop poachers from capturing these gibbons to be sold as part of the illegal pet trade. The enchanting singing these primates are known for makes them especially in demand.

Indeed, the illegal pet trade and habitat loss are the two greatest threats to Siamang gibbon populations. Sadly, information from the International Union for the Conservation of Nature shows that this gibbon species is facing a continued decline in the number of mature individuals.

Habitat fragmentation also has a serious impact on these amazing animals. However, recently a glimmer of hope appeared after two Siamang gibbons who were rescued from the pet trade were released back into the wild.

The Aspinall Foundation recently completed work on an animal rehabilitation center. This center is located at Punti Kayu in South Sumatra, Indonesia. It is dedicated to rehabilitating Siamang gibbons. The pair of gibbons who were released had been transferred to the newly completed rehabilitation center.

After being rehabilitated, Jon and Cimung were released back into the Sumatran forests on December 23, 2023. The pair of Siamang gibbons previously were kept as pets. Their time in captivity was not kind to them.

Gibbons kept as pets are frequently kept under inadequate conditions. Often, they are not even fed appropriate foods. This seems to have been the case for Jon and Cimung. When rescuers at the Aspinall Foundation first began to rehabilitate the pair they were worried that Jon would not survive. He was suffering the effects of severe malnourishment and had diarrhea. Eventually, though, Jon recovered.

Rehabilitation of the two Siamangs took five years. The pair needed to learn how to fend for themselves in the wild. Additionally, rescuers wanted to ensure that Jon and Cimung were pair-bonded. Siamang pairs form strong bonds that typically last for life. Pair-bonding between Jon and Cimung would help increase the duo’s chances of survival in the wild.

According to observers, the release of the two Siamang gibbons went well. The two gibbons adapted quickly to the wild and began producing the species’ signature calls by the afternoon. Now, the pair will be monitored for four months to gauge their ability to fend for themselves in the wild. If Jon and Cimung are successful, the team will then begin to release more pairs of Siamang gibbons who have been rescued from the pet trade.

Sign this petition to Help Stop the Illegal Pet Trade!

petition button resized 3This article by Willow Lynn was first published by One Green Planet on 14 January 2024. Image Credit: Wirestock Creators/Shutterstock.

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