Saranik swinging free for the first time in Angkor
We are very excited to announce, that on Wednesday, December 12th a pair of endangered pileated gibbons was released into the forest of Angkor Archaeological Park.
Born to parents rescued from the illegal wildlife trade, the gibbon pair was mother-raised at Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Center (PTWRC) and has been living in a rehabilitation enclosure with limited human presence for some time. They were transferred to their release enclosure in Angkor Thom in June where our wildlife rehabilitation staff monitored them as they acclimated to their new surroundings. The bonded pair has adjusted well and even duetted for the first time on July 4th. Baray, the male is active and playful with his partner, Saranik, who is much more reserved. Both animals are wary of people, which is good in an environment where tourists and other people are ever-present.
The reintroduction of gibbons is an exciting and vital step towards the conservation of this endangered species. With approximately only 35,000 individuals left in the wild, gibbon populations are on sharp decline due to hunting and habitat fragmentation. Gibbons in the wild require extensive territory and a male-and-female pair is monogamous for life. They are famous for their incredible calls which will now resonate again throughout Angkor Archaeological Park.
Angkor Thom in Siem Reap is a high-profile World Heritage Site and the indigenous wildlife in the area has largely been removed due to the illegal hunting that used to take place. This historic event marks the beginning of a new endeavor between Wildlife Alliance, the Forestry Administration and the Apsara Authority that manages the World Heritage site, to repopulate the barren forest surrounding the high-profile tourism destination. Release close to this most popular tourist site in Cambodia will also provide us with an opportunity to bring a message of conservation and wildlife protection to a wide-ranging international audience.
Guards have been stationed to safeguard the forest, and the pair will continue to be monitored to ensure they thrive in their new home. Click on the link below to watch the gibbons explore their new freedom and listen to Nick Marx, Wildlife Alliance's Director of Wildlife Programs, talk about the importance of this project.
While PTWRC is home to over 1,200 rescued animals, the priority for our Care for Rescued Wildlife Program is to continue developing and implementing rehabilitation and release programs for many of the animals we rescue. Help Wildlife Alliance continue to be at the forefront of conservation and wildlife protection in the Southeast Asian tropical belt by making a gift today!
The gibbon coming out of their enclosure together
Wildlife Programs Director, Nick Marx