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wildlife rescue volunteering

From an illegal zoo to my first meeting with a female gibbon!

My start in life was terrible. I was kept at an illegal zoo in Java in horrible conditions. Fortunately, I was rescued and arrived at Cikananga Wildlife Centre in 2013. The team have been looking after me well. Wonderfully, last year I had the chance of meeting a female from my own species (siamang gibbon).


Tell me more about Black?

I am a Siamang Gibbon which is the largest of the gibbon family. So, I can become twice as big as other gibbons and weigh up to 14 kg. Luckily,  I found a home at the well-established Cikananga Wildlife Rescue Centre in West Java. The team of animal keepers have been looking after me well.

Amazingly, I now have the chance of becoming a couple with Item, a female Siamang who arrived at the centre in 2019. We have slowly been introduced to each other and I am trying to be a caring partner to her. Our courtship has been going well! Now, we are even singing duets together which is a sign that we are both feeling much better.

Why can this ape not be released to the wild?

Just like humans, apes need a lot of loving care and teaching to grow into independent healthy adults. But when a baby ape is taken by poachers for the illegal pet trade, then this chance for a happy and healthy youth is also taken away. Often, the mother and other family members are killed by the poachers, as the family bond between apes is very strong.

When the baby ape is sold to pet owners, they are ignorant or unwilling to provide proper care and diet. Many apes are kept for entertainment by restaurants or other traders. Not surprisingly, these owners find it hard to cope, once the ape grows into an adult. So, they either hand over the animal voluntarily or the wildlife service can confiscate such illegal pets. Sadly, these rescued apes have no natural susrvival skills, such as foraging for healthy forest foods or climbing trees. They have lost years of learning and have no mothers to teach them these skills.

If they are lucky, they can go to one the few ‘jungle schools’ in Borneo. They can receive care and training from professional staff who act as substitute mothers. But for the vast majority of apes, this is not possible because they are either too old or too far away. Frequently, the illegal pet traders take the babies to other islands such as Java where is it easier to sell them on.

Why do we need wildlife rescue centres?

Wildlife Rescue Centres play an important role in fighting the illegal wildlife trade. They are the only places to provide proper care for rescued animals in Asia. Without them, local wildlife officers would not be able to enforce the law against this cruel trade. Furthermore, they can provide help and shelter for animals that have been injured. Such animals can often be released into the wild, once they have recovered.

How can we protect apes?

The protection of apes, and wildlife in general, is a complex mix of different solutions. It involves better protection for forests and the animals within by effective anti-poaching action. But, it must also include measures to stop the demand for wildlife for medicine, entertainment, food or other purposes. Governments and NGOs can only do so much. Ultimately, the protection of nature and wildlife is everyone’s responsibility. It involves major changes to our lifestyle and consumption to reduce biodiversity loss and climate change.


Will 100% of my donation go to this cause?

Absolutely, all of the money you donate will go the care of the ape and its companions at the Wildlife Rescue Centre. The only deduction will be the charges by payment processors such as Paypal. As a small non-profit organisation, we use Paypal to easily accept donations. Our main motivation for this ADOPT AN APE campaign is to help our friends and colleagues at the Wildlife Recsue Centres that we support in Malaysia and Indonesia. The impact of the pandemic means that all their efforts are focused on surviving these difficult times. So, we are doing our best to help them as fundraisers. This saves them the time and effort needed to promote their cause online and solicit donations. You can read more about our amazing conservation projects here

Below is the awesome team at the Cikananga Wildlife Rescue Centre in West Java, a non-profit foundation in Indonesia and the Netherlands (Wanicare)


How will my donation be used?

The care of rescued apes includes not only food and medical supplies. Importantly, a large part of the cost is the salaries for the animal keepers who look after them on a daily basis. This work requires a lot of dedication and attention. Often, these wildlife workers are members of the local community who are the main breadwinners for their families. Most keepers have worked at the centre for many years and have a strong personal relationship with the animals

Do you follow the FR Fundraising Code ?

Yes, we adhere to the guidelines of the UK Fundraising Regulator. This means that our fundraising must be 1. Legal ( match legal requirements)  2. Open ( we are open about our methods and happy to explain or provide more information to any member of the public) 3. Honest ( We do not mislead anyone about the way the donation will be used ) 4. Respectful ( We will show respect to any member of the public when we fundraise for our cause)

Please note that we are not yet registered with the FR, since the fee for small organisations is £150.- So, we will register as soon as this sum represents 5% of the total donations. Frankly, we will be over the moon if we can achieve a total of £3,000! If you become a donor, you will hear about it for sure.

Are you a charity?

We are not a registered charity, but a non-profit social enterprise. This means that we are a company (registered in England under company no:  9759467) with a social mission that is of benefit to the community. Our mission is to save endangered animals and their habitats. We have no shareholders, only members. Practically, we operate in the same way as a charity, but we can also charge fees for our services such as training and internships.

The cost of feeding and caring
for a gibbon at the centre is

about £ 2,400 per year.

This includes a daily diet of fresh fruits, nuts and vitamins. Also, annual medical supplies including de-worming. Of course, a portion of the keeper’s salary is also included, as caring for apes requires professional and dedicated staff.


By adopting an ape, even for a week or a month, you will support his care and make a difference.

£6or Rm 30
£12or Rm 60
£40Rm 200


Becoming an APE AMBASSADOR and making a donation will be a great help for the rescued animals that urgently need care during these difficult pandemic times. Also, you will receive recognition for your generosity:

♥ An e-Adoption Certificate with a large image of your chosen ape

♥ individual update about your adopted ape and the wildlife centre

♥ Subscription to our monthly newsletter with updates and news about all our conservation projects

♥ A 5% discount on volunteering fees at the centre for donations over £60.

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