BALI, Indonesia, July 26, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Bali Zoo is home to numerous Indonesian and non-native fauna. One of its main aspirations is a breeding program that releases endangered species to go back to its habitat in the wilderness. Bali Zoo is an ex-situ conservation institution that cultivates a role in protecting the continuity of Indonesia's fauna, primarily in its ability to breed rare animals outside of their original habitats. One such case is that of the silvery gibbons (Hylobates moloch) that are native to West Java. Estimates indicate that less than 2,500 mature individuals remain in the wild.
The successful breeding program extended to a decision of putting one of the gibbons named Boris, a 9 year old male gibbon into the wild. Boris was translocated from Bali Zoo to Great Association of Natural Resources Conservation West Java (BBKSDA Jawa Barat), in which he was cared for by Java Primate Rehabilitation Center -The Aspinall Foundation, an NGO that actively conserves Javan Gibbon and other primates. Bali Zoo named this project "Silvery Gibbon into the Wild", and made it part of Bali Zoo's conservation project.
On August 9, 2018, Boris was sent out to Ciwidey, West Java, where The Aspinall Foundation is based. The Aspinall Foundation is known as a rescue centre, rehabilitation, pre-release habituation and quarantine. At the foundation, Boris was placed in a successful breeding program to be reintroduced to his natural habitat and learn to survive in the wild. Joining him at the breeding program on October 9, 2018 was a female silvery gibbon named Inge. They were arranged to mate on January 4, 2019, and both seemed to be interested in each other. On another note, Inge was a succesful result of a law enforcement led by BBKSDA Jawa Barat together with Cikananga Wildlife Center (PPS Cikananga).
After less than a year at The Aspinall Foundation, Boris successfully passed all trainings and underwent a medical check-up. Together with Inge, he was officially released on July 25, 2019 in Situ Patengan Nature Reserve in West Java. Both of them looked extremely excited to go back to their natural habitat. "Bali Zoo hopes that the success of this project will increase the population of the Silvery Gibbons in West Java. Conserve is always be one of the three mottos of Bali Zoo, and with this project, Bali Zoo believes that this will be an encouragement to conserve more species, preserve the wild ecosystem, raise public's awareness about endangered animals, and decrease the level of hunting and poaching," said Lesmana Putra, Bali Zoo's General Manager.
The Silvery Gibbon into the Wild was not the first conservation project that Bali Zoo has done. The first was in May 2016, when Bali Zoo released 50 Oliver Ridley sea turtle babies into the sea. The project continued when Bali Zoo released nine Javan porcupines to Pura Batu in Silakarang, Tabanan, and five Javan deer to West Bali National Park.
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