The only place I’ve ever seen a Javan Gibbon was at the Fort Wayne Children’s* Zoo. Javan Gibbons live in deep forest, so an enclosure that allows them to breed is very shady and difficult to photograph. Still, some of the photos turned out. Because of changing light conditions and rather uncooperative subjects, I had to revisit them several times to get the shots I did.
Due to where they live (Java) and what’s happening there (widespread forest destruction), we’re down 3,000 individuals in the wild, but they live in only 63 groups of what is called “fragmented habitat”. That means that not only are they small groups facing inbreeding threats, but each “fragment” is at higher risk of loss and, when it’s gone, so are the gibbons. Each group of gibbons has been assessed as “unsustainable”, so it is likely that the only real future of this animal is in zoos.
They will likely be extinct in the wild within my lifetime.
* Adults are allowed there as well.
Originally posted at stories.starmind.org.