Kentish Express Ashford & District

Ape family grows after gibbon born at reserve

- By Alex Jee ajee@thekmgroup.co.uk

An adorable baby gibbon has been born at a wildlife reserve.

The extremely rare and endangered primate was born at Port Lympne Hotel and Reserve near Sellindge.

The young baby male, named Tiga, was born last month and is doing well with his mum Belle at the site.

He joins his siblings Satu, five, and Kadua, two, to bring the family of Javan gibbons under dad Gapak to a total of five.

The gibbons, otherwise known as moloch or silvery gibbons, are native to Java, an Indonesian island that also hosts the country’s capital of Jakarta.

There are fewer than 2,500 mature Javan gibbons in the world, making them one of the most endangered species of primate in the world.

The Aspinall Foundation is the first group to work to conserve the gibbon population in the country, as well as the native langur.

A spokeswoma­n for the foundation said: “Wherever possible, animals we breed in the UK are relocated to our sites in Java, in order to boost the indigenous population­s.

“Since our Javan Primate Project began in 2012, we have released 135 primates into the forests that we protect, so that they can live in the wild – where they belong.”

Tiga is not the only major birth at the reserve this year so far, after two lion cubs were born to Oudrika, lioness of the Port

Lympne pride.

A staggering 22,000 people tuned in to watch Oudrika give birth on livestream.

Tragically, a third cub which was also born died a short time

later.

Last month, bosses at the park launched an urgent appeal to help it save three lions and a family of brown bears.

The charity fears it may be forced to abandon its plans to rehome the creatures at Port Lympne if it fails to raise its £250,000 target.

Visit the Aspinall Foundation

website at www.aspinallfo­undation.org where you can donate to keep the sites at Port Lympne and Howletts, near Canterbury, running during lockdown.

 ?? Picture: Port Lympne ?? Tiga the baby gibbon was born at Port Lympne last month
Picture: Port Lympne Tiga the baby gibbon was born at Port Lympne last month

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