MALAYSIANSKINI | Roughly the size of a macaque, with agile limbs and endearing white-rimmed faces, gibbons are known as Malaysia’s swinging, singing small apes.
Unfortunately, these distinctive features have also made the wild animals sought-after pets and a target for poachers.
Driven by a demand fuelled by social media and celebrity ownerships, gibbons can fetch up to RM5,000 per baby on online marketplaces.
What is often concealed during these transactions is an estimated 20 twenty gibbons will have to die for one baby to reach the hands of a buyer, according to Mariani Ramli.
Known simply as “Bam” to her friends, she runs the Gibbon Rehabilitation Project (GReP) - a sanctuary that rescues gibbons from captivity and rehabilitates them for an eventual return to the wild.