We took some guests from the Cape Panwa Hotel for a trip to the Gibbon Rehabilitation Project (GRP) in Bang Pae to see first-hand the work being done and to walk through the Khao Phra Thaeo National Park.
Gibbons are small, acrobatic primates; advanced apes from Southeast Asia which are in danger of going extinct.They are a marvel to watch! We observed them in their pens and we were very lucky to hear the mating call of the female whilst we were there.
There are a number of different types of gibbons here and a couple have successfully bred and are now living back in the forest. Originally these gibbons were wild, living in the forests but they were knocked out of the trees and picked up from the forest floor, fed alcohol and given nappies!
Once the gibbon matures they can no longer be ‘pets’ and are discarded – this is where the GRP help and their goal is to reintegrate them into the wild – unfortunately they do not have a lot of success or support.
If you do visit Phuket please take a little time to visit the GRP. There is a 200 Baht fee for entering the National Park but please purchase something in the shop as the GRP receives no funding from them. You can even adopt a Gibbon – who will stay and live in the National Park.
We finished the trip with a stroll though the jungle to a waterfall where a number of guests went for a swim and others sat around eating fresh coconuts. Delightful!
Please click here for an article from the Phuket Gazette regarding the gibbons plight - please read page 26.