Darwin Animal Doctors


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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