Event Title

Non-traditional Infant Development in Hylobates lar: Hand-raised Parents Rearing their First Offspring

Research Mentor(s)

Joan Stevenson

Description

Hylobates lar (lar or white-cheeked gibbon) numbers continue to plummet throughout Southeast Asia. This lesser ape faces the threat of hunting in the forms of bushmeat subsistence food as well as the pet trade and tourism entertainment. Over 90 primates currently live at Highland Farm Gibbon Sanctuary, in the hills of northwestern Thailand on the Myanmar border. The 69 gibbons have been surrendered, abandoned, or born at sanctuary, with dozens needing to be hand-raised after arriving at the sanctuary as orphans or being rejected by their parentals in captivity. Many of those hand-raised gibbons have reached maturity and joined the gibbon social structure in the process of pair formation; unlike the great apes, a majority of lesser apes live in small families comprised of a male, female, and offspring. A male and female pair at Highland Farm, who had both been raised completely or with majority assistance by humans, were rearing their first offspring. The goal of this study was to analyze the development of an infant lar gibbon during her eighth and ninth months of life, which was found to be the crucial period in which she began solitary locomotion, consuming solid foods, and interacting with other primates outside of her family structure.

Document Type

Event

Start Date

May 2018

End Date

May 2018

Location

Anthropology

Rights

Copying of this document in whole or in part is allowable only for scholarly purposes. It is understood, however, that any copying or publication of this document for commercial purposes, or for financial gain, shall not be allowed without the author’s written permission.

Language

English

Format

application/pdf

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Non-traditional Infant Development in Hylobates lar: Hand-raised Parents Rearing their First Offspring

Anthropology

Hylobates lar (lar or white-cheeked gibbon) numbers continue to plummet throughout Southeast Asia. This lesser ape faces the threat of hunting in the forms of bushmeat subsistence food as well as the pet trade and tourism entertainment. Over 90 primates currently live at Highland Farm Gibbon Sanctuary, in the hills of northwestern Thailand on the Myanmar border. The 69 gibbons have been surrendered, abandoned, or born at sanctuary, with dozens needing to be hand-raised after arriving at the sanctuary as orphans or being rejected by their parentals in captivity. Many of those hand-raised gibbons have reached maturity and joined the gibbon social structure in the process of pair formation; unlike the great apes, a majority of lesser apes live in small families comprised of a male, female, and offspring. A male and female pair at Highland Farm, who had both been raised completely or with majority assistance by humans, were rearing their first offspring. The goal of this study was to analyze the development of an infant lar gibbon during her eighth and ninth months of life, which was found to be the crucial period in which she began solitary locomotion, consuming solid foods, and interacting with other primates outside of her family structure.