Dao Tien strives to achieve an international standard of welfare and husbandry. Sometimes we receive traumatised gibbons that need a little extra care, or time out, such as Amelie, an over-friendly juvenile golden-cheeked gibbon. She is a confident soul with adults but not so friendly with similar-aged peers. When it was time for Amelie and surrogate mum Dao to enter the trees, it proved too much for Amelie. She panicked when she went into the enclosure and ran on the ground, then refused to go out again. Our team tweaked the enclosure daily providing more bamboo walkways to encourage her up, then 10 days later she finally did it. She did it so well, going to the top of the trees, that you could see in her the realisation that this feels right and the higher the better.
Another gibbon with major problems is Kulai. With rehabilitation we have to methodically assess all the variables, and see what else we can try, to get them fully back into gibbon life. For individuals like Kulai this is very challenging when they have lived lives so unnaturally close to humans. Although the gibbons can make good progress and clearly display positive behaviours for full rehabilitation, a trigger can make it all crumble. For Kulai, her trigger was people. We would do so well with her socialising with a male, then suddenly she would become obsessed with humans, and our visitors from education awareness tours would become a problem, even at a distance. The decision was made that Dao Tien needed to close for a period of time to give our staff time to get Kulai in a better place.
Thank you to everyone for understanding our need to close Dao Tien. Our education awareness work is very valuable, but during this time Kulai needed space to settle into her new life as a gibbon with male Tau.