The Wannabe Idol

9th June 2010

As a gibbon I rely on vocalisations for territorial marking, and although my “whoop whoop whoooo hooo oo whoop” language is not well understood by humans they always say I sing beautiful songs. People often visit Monkeyland just to hear me sing.


When I start singing at Monkeyland, I can be heard up to 5km away if the wind is right!


For the record - I am not a monkey. Like humans, I belong to the primate suborder of the apes. You can easily distinguish apes from monkeys since apes do not have tails.


I am build rather oddly. My arms are much longer than my legs, and this makes it really easy for me to travel through treetops at high speeds. To travel I use a process known as “brachiation”. This means that I suspend my body below branches and use my arms to swing beneath branches rather than walking on top. When I am in a hurry I literally fly short distances through the air before setting my next hand down on a branch, travelling at speeds of up to 30km per hour! I can do this simply because I actually have a mental map of the Monkeyland forest, and I plan each grip several steps in advance. 


In the wild the greatest threat to gibbons is the fragmentation of our wild habitats due to logging, mining and agriculture. We also suffer greatly in the hands of the pet trade. Worst of all - in Thailand and Malaysia - tourists pay lots of money to be photographed holding gibbon babies. Please don’t support this horrid trade. In order to take that precious photograph with the baby in your arms, it had to be wrung from its mother’s arms, Most of the time the mum’s are shot or trapped and the baby is removed. Please don’t condone this trade.


Forget Idols, and being a superstar! I’ll just sing here. I am happy to be able to call Monkeyland home.  Here I am safe.