During my recent visit to Cambodia with fellow board member, Kari Barnard, we made a last minute decision to fly to Siem Reap to check on the progress of two gibbon families – the first to be reintroduced into the wild in Cambodia. Our trip lasted less than 24 hours but we were able to see for ourselves that the two pairs are thriving in their new wild environment, and had a little time left to take a quick jaunt through Angkor Wat. The fact that the call of gibbons, which were hunted out of existence in the nearby forests, is once again present at one of the world’s top tourist destinations is a source of pride for the Cambodian government and a source of joy for those who care about the plight of wildlife. These two families represent an amazing success story!
The first pair of endangered pileated gibbon to be reintroduced into the wild, Baray and Saranick, have had a little baby, Spider. The family has adjusted extremely well to life in the wild. We got a look at them when they came to nibble on the fruit treats offered by their caregivers. After a year Spider has begun to take short forays away from his Mum to try out his brachiating skills (fancy word for swinging through the trees!) He was really cute and we felt honoured to get to see the content family in its natural environment.
The second set of released gibbons Bayon and Tevy, have also adjusted well and were more difficult to photograph as they were both performing amazing acrobatic tricks high up in the treetops! We did manage to get this photo of Bayon when he came back briefly to his original release enclosure.
Seeing the two gibbon families, as well as a group of sambar deer preparing for reintroduction gave us a full picture of the wildlife rescue, rehabilitation and release cycle that FTA is committed to support to prevent poaching from decimating species throughout the Region.