Early Christmas present for Jita Family!
After many months of anticipation and hard work, GRP staff and volunteers were excited to release another gibbon family on the 10th of December. This family, consisting of Tony, Jita, and baby Claire, already seem to be at home foraging and swinging in the rainforest, and while we will continue to supply food and observe them, we think they will adapt well to life back in the wild.
This family has been living in the training cage in the forest since June while we have been working on preparations for the release. The new territory needed to be surveyed and staff and volunteers also worked on cutting trails to enable us to observe and follow the released gibbons. On the 26th and 27th of November we camped in the forest and spent two days building the acclimatization cage. This is the temporary cage where the gibbons stay for around 10 days prior to their release. It is designed with a pulley system in the trees and can be raised up into the canopy so the gibbons can get a little more used to their new home.
On the 29th of November a group of staff and volunteers helped to carry the gibbons through the forest from the training cage to the acclimatization cage. This went smoothly and the family seemed to settle in together. For the next ten days someone would need to hike up to the cage to feed the gibbons and keep an eye on their behavior and also needed to cut the final 1600m of trail.
Finally the big day we had been anticipating arrived, and a group of staff, volunteers and visitors set off for the release. When we opened the door of the cage the gibbons hardly hesitated before confidently heading out into the trees to explore. Even baby Claire has been seen venturing away from her mother to swing and play. We think their behavior is a good sign and will continue to monitor them and hope the release will be successful.
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