It’s been a while since our last update from the Angkor Wildlife Release Project. The World Heritage site’s been quiet, but we’ve been busy behind the scenes monitoring and releasing animals!
Our project at Angkor began in 2013 as part of an initiative to release wildlife into the Angkor Archeological Park.
Since then, around 40 animals have been released, from primates like gibbons and langurs, to carnivores like otters, civets and leopard cats. A lucky pair of Pileated gibbons, were the first animals to be released at Angkor, and there are currently a total of 3 gibbon pairs living in the forest! To date, six babies have been born in the forest in Angkor. With any luck, these babies will go on to have families of their own! Pileated gibbons are globally Endangered, making these families important for the conservation of the species. We conduct ‘soft-releases’ following IUCN protocols. Released animals are free to roam the forest but are provided with supplementary food, which encourages them to stay in safe areas of forest away from areas of the Park with lots of people and enables us to conduct long-term monitoring. The supplementary food is provided for gibbons on feeding stations placed within safe areas.
Let’s catch up on what our gibbon families have been up to!
The Gibbon Saga: territoriality, sleeping on the roof and re-capture
Baray and Saranick were our first pair of gibbons released in December 2013. They had their first baby, Ping-Peeung (Meaning spider in Khmer) on the 3rd September 2014 and have also gone on to have 2 more wild born offspring. Their most recently born offspring turned 1 year old on the 30th March 2021!
Ping-Peeung is now 6 years old and the keepers have observed, over the past 8 months, her parents, especially Baray, pushing her away from the family unit with increased tensions at meal times. During meal times, Ping-Peeung would retreat to lower branches in the tree close to the feeding platform and take food only after mum, dad and babies had finished eating.