Dedicated to protecting the world's remaining primates, great and small: exposing primate abuse, battling international traffickers & poachers, operating a gibbon sanctuary, and supporting ape, chimp, gorilla, orangutan & monkey rescue worldwide.
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Blackie - A one of a kind gibbon
Blackie arrived at IPPL with his mate Penny and their daughter E.T. in 1984 from the Laboratory for Experimental Medicine and Surgery in Primates (LEMSIP). We don’t know much else about him except that he was born around 1958, which, at 61, possibly makes him the oldest in the world. He and his family were used in research for over 20 years before they came to IPPL and got to join their daughter, Shanti, who was sent here the previous year. Unfortunately, due to something he was exposed to in the laboratory, Blackie is deaf. In 2006, Penny sadly passed away at around 55 years of age. In 2010 Blackie was placed with a female gibbon named Chloe. Since he arrived at the sanctuary, Blackie’s whole world has changed. Now his days are filled with nutritious meals, relaxation, and companionship.
Even though Blackie is the oldest gibbons on the property, he is still extremely active. Sometimes, he’ll do an excited quick-stomping dance routine and will move like a ballerina, twirling around with his arms flung in the air. Blackie's disability doesn’t interfere with his quality of life, but it does entail some special care. The animal care staff, for example, taught him a few hand signals that help with things like getting his attention, managing activities during the day, and other communication.We have noticed that Blackie’s vocalizations are deeper and less controlled than those of the other male gibbons, but he still often “whoops” along with the other gibbons when he sees them singing, just like he’s reading lips!