SINGAPORE: On Monday (Jul 31), the Gibbon Conservation Society announced the birth of Axel, the first-ever gibbon baby born at a rehabilitation project in Malaysia, in Raub, Pahang.
Axel’s birth is truly a history-making and long-awaited one, given that rehabilitation for gibbons can take five to 15 years.
Also, “in order to have a good chance when released, gibbons must be in a family unit” comprised of father, mother, and baby, the society said, adding, “After 10 years of operations and countless struggles, Axel’s birth marks a huge milestone not only for GCS but also for gibbon conservation in Malaysia.”
Gibbons are known as Malaysia’s Singing Apes, and the Society heralded the “newborn forest singer” when Axel was born.
Axel was named by the second son of the King of Malaysia, Tengku Muhammad Iskandar, who recently became the official royal patron of the society.
“I am so excited about Axel’s birth, I just joined to society and to be part of this milestone is incredible. I am honoured to get to name the baby. I named him Axel after the lead vocalist of Guns N’ Roses because gibbons are the singers and rockstars of our Malaysian forests and I can’t wait to see him rock out, with his family, as wild and free gibbons,” wrote Tengku Muhammad Iskandar in a statement.
The baby gibbon is the son of Ebony, his mother, and Coley, his father, who were victims of the illegal wildlife trade.
“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,” Ms Mariani ‘Bam’ Ramli, the President and founder of GCS, said.
Ms Mariani started the project in 2013 with her own savings.
The young “rockstar” was born on the evening of June 29 and is being cared for by Ebony and Coley.
“We hope this family will be our first successful gibbon reintroduction in Malaysia. We are hugely excited for the upcoming events ahead of GCS and we want to express our gratitude to everyone who has supported our journey as well as Ebony and Coley journeys so far” says Ms Mariani. /TISG