Today’s subject on The Real Dr. Doolittle Show™ is Gibbon rescue and conservation
Personal Note From Val: Who knew that gibbons have such a complex, unique and interesting social structure? They do! I loved learning about gibbons. For instance, they create and sing unique, individual song duets with their mates. They pair off into love matches and family units, and they resist forced marriages just like we do. They live long lives, and are even serially monogamous. And they love to play! Just like me. Enjoy!
The Gibbon Conservation Center (GCC) was established in 1976 by Alan Mootnick. It houses the rarest group of apes in the Western Hemisphere and has successfully reproduced 7 gibbon species. The GCC functions as an international consultant to zoos, museums, government agencies such as the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and individual scientists on species identification and gibbon care. They have assisted gibbon rescue programs in Thailand, Taiwan, Vietnam and Indonesia.
The goals of the GCC are to help ensure the survival, conservation and propagation of all gibbon species in the wild and in captivity. To provide a captive haven for all gibbon species as a complement to protecting them in the wild. To educate the public and add to the knowledge on gibbons for the scientific community, rehabilitation centers, and zoos and to support ongoing field conservation projects.
To date, 7 of 17 gibbon species that have been housed at GCC have produced offspring. Successful breeding programs are crucial because if rainforests throughout Asia disappear, captive populations will be the only remnants of the gibbon species. The GCC currently (as of 2023) houses 5 species of gibbons. The comfort and well being of these primates is their primary concern.
In November 2011, Alan Mootnick, the GCC founder died suddenly. However, the work at the Center continues. As spokespersons for the Center, our guests today Gabriella Skollar-Charnofsky and Neta Ambar have realized that life is unpredictable. They decided that if they wanted to do something important in their lives, they had to start today. Alan inspired them so deeply that they want to follow his footsteps and have dedicated their lives to studying and protecting gibbons, and to teach people about them.
In this interview some of the things you will learn about are:
- Who was Alan Mootnick, and why did he start the Center?
- How does the gibbons’ complex social and family structure work?
- What a day is like at the center?
- How did Gabriella and Neta become involved?
- What is the gibbon, and why are they endangered?
How can you get involved too?
You can make a difference in many different ways. You can volunteer at organizations that help gibbons, you can contribute to organizations like the Gibbon Conservation Center.
You can also make changes in your life by avoiding purchasing palm oil products which contribute to deforestation and loss of natural habitats for the gibbons and other species.
The Gibbon Conservation Center is a 501 (c) 3 organization. All contributions are tax-deductible as provided by law. Their federal tax exemption number is 95-4256306. 100% of all contributions go directly to the care of gibbons, including on-site care, education, and worldwide conservation efforts.
Google them or connect with the GCC on Facebook. Be sure to tell them you heard their interview on The Real Dr Doolittle Show™: www.facebook.com/gibbonconservationcenter
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This article was previously published November 15, 2012, and was updated on January 4, 2023
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