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WARF Gibbon Islands
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Why do we need Gibbon Islands ?

Unfortunately some of the gibbons which arrive at the WARF will never be released into the wild. Gibbons that have tested positive for the Herpes Simplex Virus, Hepatitis B Virus, Hepatitis B Virus and HIV Virus could potentially spread the disease to the reintroduced population as well as pose as a health threat to humans.

Other gibbons have been mistreated and abused, some have suffered body deformations that inhibit their movement, some have had their canines removed and therefore cannot defend themselves in the wild. Some are too aggressive towards humans or other gibbons. Other gibbons cannot break their bond with humans.

 Jupe carring Hepatitis B Virus  Nicky has Herpes Simplex Virus
Jupe carring Hepatitis B Virus Nicky has Herpes Simplex Virus

All these gibbons will have to stay with us and must be cared for the rest of their lives. They may live to be up to 30 years of age, and we want to ensure they have as healthy and happy a life as possible.

       

WARF recently acquired land in Ranong province near the WARED center with support from Keidanren Nature Conservation Fund in 2002. So far we have constructed 7 gibbon islands - plots of land surrounded by moats of water which the gibbons cannot cross. The water levels can change drastically depending on whether it is the dry or rainy season, and as an added precaution it was necessary to build an electric fence surrounding the outer perimeter of the island.

These artificial islands provide a far more freedom and a natural enclosure for all those gibbons that otherwise could not be released. Furthermore they will not endanger wild population of gibbons or humans.

 

 

Many of these gibbons have been in captivity for a very long time and now that they are able to live free of a cage we try to encourage natural behaviours where possible. For example some of the food baskets are on pulley systems in the trees and this helps to encourage the gibbons to stay higher up rather than spending all their time on the ground. The islands are naturally forested, but we have also built shelters and added some extra ropes for the gibbons.   

Although our staff must visit the islands daily in order to care for the gibbons, they are generally left alone and spend time interacting with each other - away from the stress caused by people.

The gibbons have all been released onto the islands in groups. At the moment we have a group of 2 (Jube and Vernon ) gibbons infected with Hepatitis B living on the Globba island. A group of 2 (Candy Bubu) gibbons infected with Herpes Simplex are living on the Dillenia island. We also have a 4 th island which is still undergoing completion

 

 The process has taken awhile as the design of the islands needed to be tried and tested. The high cost of this project meant that we were also limited financially, and we are extremely grateful to the Brigitte Bardot Foundation for their donation which has enabled us to go ahead and build the electric fences. However there will always be a constant need for maintenance to ensure the gibbons are safe on the islands and will not escape.

 


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