Earlier last week, one of our precious residents, a blonde white-handed gibbon who has been happily living with her partner on a gibbon island at WFFT’s Project 4, gave birth. April (find her full story here: www.wfft.org/primates/four-new-primates-in-april/) in now a first time mommy!
Despite the fact she arrived when she was 5-months-old, and so, don’t really know how a mom is supposed to act (she never had enough time with hers to enjoy the education and love she deserved in the wild), April has proven that instinct is stronger than fate! She is a very caring, protective and loving mom. With her partner Whisky, they now enjoy a family life far from human interactions in their very own little protected paradise.
The baby is doing good so far but it is too early to determine the gender but we already found a name: Soda!
In 2010, WFFT partnered with the Thai Department of National Parks and Mahidol University to embark on a groundbreaking gibbon release and research project within the Lum Nam Pai Wildlife Sanctuary in Northwest Thailand. The aim of the project was to re-establish a viable, self-sustaining population of white-handed gibbons (Hylobates lar) in a remote protected forest. The gibbons went through quarantine and health screening, DNA analysis and some rehabilitation and pre-release training at the WFFT Wildlife Rescue Centre prior to being taken into the forest to the release site. A ‘soft release’ strategy was employed, holding the gibbons in enclosures for a period of time prior to release, to assist them in adjusting to their new environment. Post-release support was provided, such as supplemental feeding and radio tracking.
The project was a success with a total of 14 specimens being successfully released back the wild.
Let’s congratulate April & Whisky, welcome Soda, and wish them a quiet and lovely family life. We hope that in the future we will be able send more rescued gibbons back to the wild, and they will once again sing and swing in their rightful home.