Greetings from Indonesia
The Java gibbon is an ape of the family Hylobatidae endemic to Indonesia.
Java gibbons live in the tropical rainforest consuming fruits, leaves and insects. They form families consisting of a monogamous pair and as many as four young. The species is listed Critically Endangered on the 2004 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (IUCN). It is estimated that 98% of the forest home of Javan Gibbons have been destroyed. Several population surveys indicate that there are fewer than 4000 individuals remaining in the wild. The Javan Gibbon Center (JGC) located in the Gunung Gede Pangrango National Park protects and rehabilitates Javan gibbons that were in captivity for release into an appropriate, natural habitat.
The Javan gibbons under protection are quarantined and examined, then transferred to an outdoor cage. Because many of them have been raised by humans, at first they behave differently from wild gibbons. But at the center, all of them can learn how to act, communicate with other gibbons, and find food. They are cared for until they can actually pick wild fruits for themselves.
The most difficult aspect of rehabilitation is to make gibbons mate. Wild gibbons live in a family, so they must be paired before they are released. The JGC tries to form pairs by placing one male and one female in the same cage. If they like each other, they will mate. If not, each must be placed in a cage with a different gibbon.
In October 2009, the JGC succeeded in releasing one gibbon pair to the natural environment of the Gunung Gede Pangrango National Park. There are currently 28 gibbons aged between two and 18 (among them, six pairs) undergoing rehabilitation at the JGC.
Rehabilitating gibbons requires patience as well as full attentiveness and caution. This is not only because they are an endangered species endemic to Java but also because they are simply a very delicate animal.
The protection and rehabilitation of Javan gibbons
The life of children in the village is different from those in the city. While many of them go to school, they must travel as much as 2 km on foot to get there. There are no cars or buses, or even bicycles. But they look happy. They are aware that some children cannot go to school because their parents do not have enough money. After school they play near the planting areas or swim in the river.
Daily lives of children in the village