JAKARTA, Indonesia, Jan. 11 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- After
successfully relocating three Bornean gibbons last year, the International
Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) partners again with International Animal
Rescue (IAR) and Kalaweit Foundation to move 5 Sumatran Agile gibbons and 8
siamangs from Cikananga Animal Rescue Centre (PPSC) to Marak island off the
west coast of Sumatra, Indonesia.
Prior to the relocation, this group of gibbons and siamangs were
confiscated from illegal pet trade by the Indonesian Forestry Department.
The animals were 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.
"Illegal pet trade and rampant deforestation is driving the Sumatran
gibbons and siamangs to extinction. Together with the Forestry Department
of Indonesia and other NGOs, we hope to provide a brighter future for these
endangered primates by their 'return home' to native Sumatra," said Dr.
Anand Ramanathan of IFAW.
This group of 13 rescued Sumatran agile gibbons and siamangs will now
join more than 100 other rescued gibbons in Kalaweit Foundation's
1000-hectare rehabilitation island.
"The animals will be kept in captivity for a year, fed natural foods,
given ample opportunity for social interactions, and will live in a natural
habitat," said Kalaweit Director, Dr. Chanee.
"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 and vital if we are to save highly threatened species
like these gibbons and siamangs from extinction," said Alan Knight, CEO of
SOURCE International Fund for Animal Welfare