Order : PRIMATES
Family : Hylobatidae
Species : Hylobates lar
Head-body length : 40-50 cm
Tail length : no tail
Weight : 5-6 kg
A beautiful, captivating
primate the White-handed Gibbon is a master of agility. Its long arms are
perfectly suited to swinging from branch to branch through Southeast Asia's
rainforests. Though it lacks a tail, its sense of balance is acute and it is
equally capable of walking on its hind legs along branches high above the
Its unmistakable call - a
loud, whooping sound - can be heard from a great distance, especially when
active in the morning. Its colour varies from dark brown to brownish-orange
to cream, and its diet comprises mainly young shoots, leaves and fruits.
A shocking trade in young
gibbons is rampant in some countries, particularly Thailand. The young are
captured by first shooting the mother, and then stealing the young.
The White-handed Gibbon
ranges from southern China, Burma, Thailand and Laos to Peninsular Malaysia
Figs 1 and 2 : Adult specimen from
Panti Forest, Johor, Peninsular Malaysia.
Fig 3 : Feeding on young leaves at Khao Yai National Park, Thailand.
Fig 4 : Sub-adult at Gibbon Rehabilitation Project,
References : M3
Gibbon Rehabilitation Project, Phuket.