Sokong Team
Thu Aug 24 2023

First gibbon baby born at a rehabilitation center in M'sia named by YAM TAB Tengku Muhammad Iskandar

Animal Welfare
This article features :

Gibbon Conservation Society has recently set a milestone for Malaysian gibbon conservation after ten years of operating for gibbon rehabilitation, with the birth of Axel, the first-ever gibbon born at a rehabilitation center in Malaysia. Yang Amat Mulia Tengku Arif Bendahara Tengku Muhammad Iskandar Ri’ayatuddin Shah Ibni Al- Sultan Abdullah Ri'ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah, the second son of Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri'ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah Ibni Almarhum Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah Al- Musta'in Billah, who recently became the official royal patron of GCS, named the male gibbon Axel after the lead vocalist of Guns N’ Roses.

His birth is a long-awaited occasion as rehabilitation for gibbons takes a long time (anywhere from 5-15 years) and in order to have a good chance when released, gibbons must be in a family unit (father, mother and baby).

Both the baby’s parents - Ebony (mother) and Coley (father) currently at Malaya Gibbon Rehabilitation Project (Malaya GReP) one of our projects set in Raub, Pahang, were victims of the illegal wildlife trade, which is rampant in Malaysia, when they were infants themselves. In order to capture them, poachers would have killed their own parents and siblings. “Ebony and Coley have had such long and hard journeys. Their families were killed when they were just babies. Now to see them create a new family, it’s the most amazing and fulfilling thing. I am so grateful that we (GCS) have been able to help them along this journey,” said Mariani ‘Bam’ Ramli, the President and founder of GCS, who started the project in 2013 with her own savings.

The Gibbon Rehabilitation Projects are Malaysia’s first small ape rehabilitation centres, with Malaya GReP established in 2013 and Borneo GReP established in 2022. Both projects help orphaned captive gibbons and other primates that are victims of the illegal pet trade, bushmeat and other unfortunate situations. These projects aim to continuously give proper care, nutrition, rehabilitation and re-wilding guidance to as many primates as we can accommodate, so they can reclaim their survival skills and return back into the wild to become a functional part of the natural ecosystem.

TAB during his speech-this.jpg

YAM Tengku Muhammad Iskandar said in his letter of patronage, “I am thrilled to be part of the organisation [Gibbon Conservation Society] and to contribute to conserving the endangered species, for a better future for Malaysia’s Singing Apes.” In early July, YAM Tengku Muhammad Iskandar along with several other members of the Pahang royal family visited GCS’s first Project site - Malaya Gibbon Rehabilitation Project (Malaya GReP) where he was able to see the ten-week-old White-Handed Gibbon baby, born on 29th of June 2023, on the evening of Hari Raya Haji. During the visit, YAM Tengku Muhammad Iskandar, in the presence of most of the Pahang government departments, gave a short speech to commemorate his patronage. In his speech, he encouraged everyone to play a role in conservation and environmental protection before more people become affected. He also expressed his appreciation to GCS, saying “To those volunteers from far and near thank you very much for your time and efforts, I assure you your effort will never go unnoticed. To Bam, I know what you have done, what you have given for these gibbons. From the Society,
which I am a part of now, I want to say thank you, You have done so much for these vulnerable animals and without you, we wouldn’t be here.” On the morning of the 8th, YAM Tengku Muhammad Iskandar and YM Tengku Firhan Shah planted wild fruit trees for the gibbons at Malaya GReP, supporting GCS’s goal to become more sustainable. These trees will provide fruits not just for the gibbons, but also for other wildlife in the area. In a few years, it will reduce the need to buy fruits from commercial sellers. After, they also participated in preparing enrichment for the gibbons.

GCS is immensely grateful for the patronage and support of YAM Tengku Muhammad Iskandar and is excited to have him join the organisation, especially at such an exciting and critical juncture.

by malaysiakini

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