Darwin Animal Doctors


Archive: Aug 2020

  1. Gibbons in Sumatra

    It’s only been a short while since we announced that ISCP, the Indonesian Species Conservation Program had completed construction on a primate enclosure in North Sumatra, with BKSDA. Well we’re over in Sumatra again to introduce the latest residents at the Sibolangit wildlife rescue center… a beautiful pair of Siamang Gibbons!!!!

    The gibbons were introduced to their temporary home on Thursday 23 July 2020, coinciding with the visit of the Indonesian deputy minister of forestry and environment, accompanied by the head of BKSDA.

    These two Siamangs were confiscated from illegal wildlife trade and will be rehabilitated at the rescue center before being released into the wild.

    The Siamang Gibbon (Symphalangus syndactylus) is one of 18 different species of gibbon found across Southeast Asia. You’ll find the beautiful, black-furred Siamangs in Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand!

    Gibbons are classified as lesser apes. Like the great apes, they have no tails, and gibbons, when on the ground will walk around on 2 feet like a human, but with their arms in the air for balance. They are, however, arboreal: at home in the treetops, where they eat mainly plants. Up to 60% of the Siamang’s diet is fruit, mainly figs!

    The gorgeous Siamangs are a bit different to all their cousins. They have a big ‘gular sac’ or throat pouch, which can be inflated to the size of the siamang’s head, allowing it to make loud, resonating calls or songs. The Siamang starts its day by calling in the early morning; it’s an amazing wake-up call in the rainforest!!!

    They’re also the biggest of the gibbons, they can be twice the size of other gibbons, reaching 90 cm in height (35 inches), and weighing up to 12 kg (26 pounds)!

    Unfortunately gibbons are yet another species that is under threat. The illegal pet trade takes its toll on the population in Sumatra, as with these two rescued by ISCP and BKSDA, but the main threat is habitat loss.

    Deforestation through palm oil plantations and illegal logging has reduced their forest habitat immensely, as have the forest fires in recent years, leaving these amazing creatures listed as Endangered.

    Now with the primate enclosure in Sumatra, our partners at ISCP can work to do their bit to save these magical tree-dwellers!!!

    -Tod and the Team, Darwin Animal Doctors

    In loving memory of our hero, Piggy:


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  2. Ismael’s Animal Shelter

    Today we’re taking at Tanzania and Ismael’s Animal Shelter, the very first animal shelter in all of mainland Tanzania! https://www.facebook.com/AnimalRescueTz

    In Arusha, in northern Tanzania, people have negative perceptions of dogs, with dogs generally viewed as ‘dirty, unworthy creatures’. It’s here that Ismael has decided to spend his life helping dogs. Ismael focuses on rescuing these poor, stray street-dogs and rehabilitating them for rehoming!

    In 2017, his story featured in the Dodo, https://www.thedodo.com/close-to-home/tanzania-street-dog-rescue, growing from Tina, the first street dog he rescued in 2016, who’d given birth to puppies underneath bush. Having taken them home, sheltered them in a box and fed them, he reached out on facebook and from there his network began to grow.

    With help from this new community, he was able to build a proper shelter, learn about vaccinations, spay and neuter the original puppies, and many more since.

    At the time of the article, Ismael had rescued, rehabilitated and rehomed more than 30 dogs, and this number has continued to rise in the years since. We’ll be sharing some of his wonderful rescue stories in the weeks to come via email, instagram and facebook.

    But it hasn’t all been plain sailing for Ismael and his shelter. The Dodo article highlights an incident when Tina ran away and was shot in the leg and neck (it was a happy ending, with the vet being able to save her), but it shows the issues faced by street dogs in Tanzania: abuse, violence and neglect.

    Rescuing and rehoming unfortunate dogs is an issue very close to our hearts here at DAD, so we want to do what we can to help Ismael. Our goal is to help him to expand from 3 kennels to 6, buy a motorbike to transport essential supplies and puppies, and of course help with the everyday costs of food and vaccinations.

    The link below will take you to our paypal donation page where you can contribute directly to our fundraiser for Ismael’s Animal Shelter and stay tuned over the coming weeks for more adorable pupdates!


    -Tod and the Team, Darwin Animal Doctors


    In loving memory of our hero, Piggy:

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