February 2016 (Volume 15 Issue 2)

Crystal and Willy: Moved to Acclimatization Cage 

Crystal was bought from a photographer on Patong beach and kept as a pet; she was brought to the GRP in 2009 when she was only about 10 months old. She was moved to the rehabilitation site with Phi Phi, they lived together until Crystal’s over grooming caused extreme hair loss in Phi Phi.



Willy came to us from a rescue centre in Ranong in 2014- unfortunately we do not know how he came to be there or what happened to him before he was rescued. They were introduced in 2015 and were integrated very quickly as they were so enthusiastic about each other.

After we noticed dramatic hair loss in Willy we decided to organize their release as soon as possible as it was hoped that the distraction of the forest would save him from Crystal’s over grooming.

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On the 15th February Crystal and Willy were moved from the rehabilitation centre to start the acclimatization process in their new cage in the forest. They were very curious on their journey up the mountain and were immediately at home when we reached the enclosure that will be their home for the next couple of months. Thankfully our theory was proved right as Willy’s hair is growing back very quickly and even Crystal’s arm hair which has always been very thin is growing back as well. They seem relaxed and happy when we visit them to feed them every morning and everything looks good for the imminent release.

Epson and Sylvia: Epson and Sylvia continue to thrive in their new home; Sylvia in particular is gaining new confidence and has even been seen being dominant at meal times. They are starting to explore more and more indicated by the fact they sometimes have to travel for some time when we arrive to feed them in the morning. Epson in particular is very curious, he recently led a volunteer who was tracking him into a potentially dangerous situation when he went to check out a macaque fight- it transpired over 100 macaques were involved and the volunteer was lucky to avoid it!

The couple shows up their confidence with the forest, as well, by singing together every morning. Willy and Crystal use to answer them back, as their territories are close to each other.

Arun, Toffee and the Baby: The newly grown family continues to be the most frequently seen family in the forest; they always seem to be on the move and their loud singing confirms they are happy and healthy. The baby is growing well and soon we will be able to tell if it is a boy or a girl, it’s not been named yet, we are waiting for know the sex so can give to him or her properly name.

Claire and Payu: For the lasts months we have seen Payu and Claire fairly regularly, they are very comfortable together and seem very happy in their new territory. We hope that before too long we will see this new family grow and cement their place amongst the gibbons of Khao Phra Thaew National Park.

Gibbons updated

Joey and Phi Phi: Joey and Phi Phi’s relationship continues to grow; they soon settled into a good rhythm and have now been fully integrated, spending all their time together. They are quite a mature couple, unlike the other young couples we have, they prefer to sit and groom rather than play boisterously together.

Brany and Seagame: After a hesitant start this couple have really started to bond; they showed lots of positive behavior so towards the end of February we initiated integration with the pair spending the majority of the day together. At the moment Brany is still too dominant at feeding time for them to be integrated fully; we don’t want Seagame to miss out at meal times! We will carefully modify his behavior until he learns to let Seagame have her equal share.

Tunda and Lumduan: Tunda and Lumduan have now also been fully integrated; they no longer fight at mealtimes and spend almost all of their time side by side. Lumduan can sometimes be a bit dominant of Tunda but she has learnt not to scare him too much or he won’t play with her! Tunda loves to lie on his front and have Lumduan groom him. They love to play tag and they also enjoy playing in the water when their enclosure is being cleaned.

Bang- Kluay’s Cage Improvement: Bang- Kluay has been temporarily re- located so his cage can be expanded; as he grows and the chance of being paired increases we wanted to make sure his enclosure reflected that. The staffs have been working hard to make sure his new home is fit for a gibbon king! It’s not been easy carrying bags of sand and cement, hoisting metal bars and wiring up the hill, not to mention the actual construction but it will all be worth it when Bang- Kluay moves in to his new home this week, we know he’ll appreciate it and we can’t wait to see him there.

Other News

English Camp: On February 13th 6 of our volunteer were lucky enough to travel to the beautiful Tai Mueang National Park about one hour North of Phuket Island to take part in an English Camp with Muslim Wittaya Phuket School. We ran workshops about gibbons, global warming, human rights, tourism and world peace before the children gave presentations in English. In the afternoon we played many games aimed towards improving English. It was extremely fun and a very rewarding experience; and the volunteers were very excited to be in such a beautiful location.

Rescued Gibbon: WARF was recently part of a rescue of a young, female gibbon in Ranong; it was reported to the DNP after tourists had seen it being used as a tourist prop. When the department went to rescue her she and the owners had gone; a hunt ensued with the department and WARF tracking her for over week before she was finally rescued. She has a bad cut on her right arm and is very nervous but apart from that she is doing well. She will be transferred to a government facility and who knows maybe one day she will be back in Phuket at GRP!

Smiley Kidz International School Visit: On 23rd February some young students from Smiley Kidz International School in Chalong came to visit the education centre; aged between 3 and 5 they were very excited to see the gibbons and to learn about from the volunteers. The teachers were very impressed and we hope this grows into a new relationship so we can teach many young students about the importance of taking care of the environment and the animals of Thailand.

Kajonkiet International School Fundraising: Kajonkiet International School also visited the education centre after 98 students raised money for the Gibbon Rehabilitation Project. They were very happy to have helped and we were extremely grateful for the thoughtfulness and generosity of these young students; it is a great sign for the future of Thailand that the children are so invested in protecting the environment. They loved seeing the gibbons and hearing about the ones already released and living in the forest; it was great for them to feel part of something bigger.

Gibbon Rehabilitation Project (Chiang Mai) : GRPC

Brittany and Ollie: Unfortunately since their positive start there has been a lot of fighting between this family and Nat’s family; especially between Nat and Ollie. Ollie has not been seen for some time and Brittany has been living alone; we hope that Ollie will come back soon but she is a capable gibbon and can survive in the wild alone.

Nat, Nuan, Beauty and Tony: Although they can sometimes be seen fighting with other gibbons, this family is doing well. Tony is starting to try to eat solid foods and is growing a lot. Nat has a small cut as a result of his fighting but the staff in the area say it is small enough that we don’t need to worry about it. Beauty continues to do well as part of Nat’s family, she is sometimes scared to eat so often waits for the others to finish or picks up the food they have dropped. Despite this she is happy and seems to enjoy life will her new family.

Jun and Thong: Although this couple is still seen frequently in Chiang Mai  and continue to thrive in the forest; they have not been fighting with any other gibbons and enjoy a quiet life.