Javan gibbons are also known as Moloch or Silvery gibbons. They are monogamous and pair for life, living in small family groups with their offspring. Unlike most gibbon species, Javan gibbons do not sing in duets to defend their territory. The males sing in the morning and the females later in the day.
Gibbons are adapted for over-hand swinging, called brachiation, and can easily cover a distance of 10 meters from branch to branch.
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Port Lympne and Howletts currently hold 29 Javan gibbons, around 40% of the world’s captive population. We are the world’s most successful breeders with 30 births between the parks in the last 20 years. It is estimated that less than 4500 individuals remain in the wild. This number is still decreasing due to habitat destruction, isolation, the illegal pet trade and the bush meat trade.
The Aspinall Foundation started a project in Java in 2011 with the aim of rescuing Javan primates from the illegal pet trade, rehabilitating them, and reintroducing them back to the wild. Primates from our parks have joined these animals for release.