Jeffrey was the first gibbon I ever met at the Javan Gibbon Centre….
Wildlife conservation, in any country, is an inevitable roller coaster of small victories matched with devastating setbacks. Javan gibbon conservation at the moment is challenging, to say the least, and I hope that recent tragic events will soon be followed by some positive progress.
The sadness of losing one of our most high profile gibbons under such appalling circumstances brings me deep sadness but also strengthened resolve.
Jeffrey was the first gibbon I ever met at the Javan Gibbon Centre. He was the first of two gibbons taken in to the centre in 2003 and on my very first visit he caught my attention instantly, with his ballerina jumping, a stereotypic behaviour developed from years spent in a tiny cage. Jeffrey clearly had a story to tell, his life until then, was not as a gibbons should be.
Over the last 9 years though Jeffrey’s rehabilitation surpassed our expectations and he seemed to have found his soul mate in Nancy. They were one of the few pairs who were instantly compatible.
Just over a month ago, Jeffrey and Nancy were released into Pattiwel forest, as a second trial reintroduction after the apparent success of the first pair, Echi and Septa. Jeffrey and Nancy were doing well, enjoying their freedom in the forest and learning the skills required for survival in the wild.
But those skills, sadly, would never protect them from the most predatory, destructive species on the planet. On the evening of June 8, hunters entered Pattiwel forest, presumably looking for wild pigs and other wildlife. For reasons only known to them, Jeffrey became an appealing target.
A JGC staff member, hearing multiple gun shots hurriedly made his way into the forest, badly injuring his leg as he tried to chase off the hunters.
Nancy was later found, alone and frightened in the forest and has now been returned to JGC. Observing her today was heartbreaking and it was obvious that with monogamy, comes undeniable grief when a partner is lost. I am not sure Nancy will recover.
The call of the Javan gibbon is fading. Please help us if you can.
Your donation will help us to improve care for the gibbons at JGC, establish adequate protection in proposed release sites and campaign the Indonesian government to protect the gibbon’s natural areas.
The Silvery Gibbon Project
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