Gibbons are apes in the family Hylobatidae. The family historically contained one genus and now is split into four genera and 18 species. White Handed Gibbons are known for their super cuddly appearance and distinctive singing, were once common in the forests of Thailand’s popular Phuket Island.
Due to the demand of the illegal pet trade and their use as photo props for tourist, these long armed cute creatures are endangered in the wild and need as much help as they can get.
Different species of Gibbon were once common in the forests of Thailand. They are an important part of the ecosystem and ensure the health and vitality of the rainforests in which they live as they are natural seed disperers. Therefore, their survival is important to the environment.
However, by the 1980s they were almost wiped out through poaching, often for the pet trade. Nowadays, numerous gibbons are being exploited as tourist attractions in Phuket and other popular tourist destinations, where they are used as photo probs for selfies and 'wild life' encounters. They are endangered because hunters can easily find them among forest from their unique sounds which can carry for long distances through the dense jungle. The on-going loss of their natural habitat due to rapid development in Phuket has also made it even harder for these apes to survive on their own. If left uncared for, unchecked and unprotected, hunting pressure and threats over their habitat could drive the local populations to extinction.
The WARF’s Gibbon Rehabilitation Project (GRP) has been working tirelessly for more than 20 years to save the remaining wild Gibbons on the island. Their work involves several active campaigns to stop poaching and educate travellers not to support these poaching activities unknowingly. Most travellers don't know that the lovely baby gibbons seen at markets, on the beach or at a busy tourist spot, have been ripped from their family unit and had its mother shot dead by poachers. It is very important to share this information with others and to stop Gibbons, as well as other animals like the Slow Loris, Parrots, Snakes, Owls, Otters etc being used as money making props that are discarded or killed when they are no longer suitable for the industry. #NotAPhotoProp
The GRP has also created well-organized rehabilitation programs which involve working with law enforcement officials to rescue the gibbons from unlawful possession and provide them with medical examinations and treatment. The centre also provides a sanctuary which allows them to recover from injuries, and slowly learn the behaviour of living naturally in the wild.
Thanks to the efforts of the center the old tropical forest around Bang Pae waterfall in Talang where they are located, has now become a No Hunting Zone too protecting many other local species.
Extensive monitoring of mental and physical behaviour must also been done to make sure that they are healthy and ready to be released into the forest and able to survive in their own family unit without any further human intervention.
Taking proper care of these apes is a mission which requires constant financial and technical support. Khiri Reach sponsors 2 Gibbons who can never be released due their mistreatment by humans and is working with the GRP to help get the support they very much need.
Our lovely Ambassador Khun Be sells and recycles trash in order to raise more funds needed to help this project as well.
Those wishing to help this organization can donate or adopt gibbons in GRP's care if they wish or volunteer at the GRP centre, for more info please contact; firstname.lastname@example.org.