English / Nederlands Thailand
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In the first place I made some pictures of various gibbons in Dusit Zoo in Bangkok. The space the gibbons have there is reasonable. They can swing around, as gibbons should. They also live in pairs or small groups, like gibbons do in nature. In Nature gibbons live in families, like humans. They are monogamous, as humans also should be.
You can look these two gibbons right in the face. At the same time it is painfully clear that they are being kept in captivity. The left hand side picture is one of my personal favorite pictures (Do enlarge it by clicking!).
The left hand side gibbon is a gibbon from the genus nomascus and the right hand side one is a representative of the genus hylobates, to which the white handed gibbon also belongs.
Here you can see a gibbon not in close-up, but its whole body. Note the long arms!
Here you see a male (right hand side picture) and a female (left hand side picture) species of the genus nomascus. Note the large differences between the sexes!
Here we have two white handed gibbons or hylobates lar. This is the most well-known gibbon, that in some places can still be found in the wild in Asia, maybe also in Thailand.
The upper picture above shows a mother gibbon with her young baby. The lower picture shows a youngster that is not yet fully grown. When I was there, the mother did not let her baby go more that about one meter from her. If the baby went further, the mother went after it.
And this, exactly, is the the reason why every young gibbon that is being captured carries the soul of at least two other gibbons with it. A gibbon couple will never give up its baby. (Well, you wouldn't either, would you?) So if you want to catch a gibbon in the wild -and young gibbons are easiest to handle- the only way is to kill both its parents. And that exactly is what a poacher does.
Young gibbons stay (very) close to their mother until they are about about five years old.
Download a free screen saver with gibbon pictures as photographed in Korat (Nakhon Rachasima) Zoo.
The Gibbon Rehabilitation Project (GRP) on Phuket Island