Manuel and Yona

 One of the first projects Dr. Alia got to participate in was a translocation of two gibbons: Yona and Manuel from Cikananga Wildlife Center to Kalaweit.

Dr. Alia and the gibbon’s journey started in the late afternoon the day before their scheduled flight. The gibbons were sedated by Dr. Alia with the help of their keepers to safely move them to their transport box and have one last health check before their long journey to come. The translocation team set out late at night in the hopes of avoiding the dreaded Jakarta traffic. Unfortunately at around 2 am they got stuck bumper to bummer in a traffic jam. Luckily they left early enough that that they still arrived on time (4am) at the airport quarantine facility to await the on call airport vet to get the okay for travel. Unfortunately the quarantine vet was late… immediately after the airport vet gave team gibbon the last bit of paperwork we rushed to the cargo hold. There they encountered yet another setback, there was a mix up of the paperwork and the gibbons where not registered to fly on the only airline that transports animals in Indonesia. At this point team gibbon only had 30 minutes until boarding time. In the hopes that the gibbons would make it on board they rushed Dr. Alia to the gate to get on the plane as a passenger. When Dr. Alia arrived they were starting to board, she asked every member of staff she could find if ‘her monkeys’ where on board. She was told by ground staff as well as the pilot, who she snuck into the cockpit to see, that ‘her monkeys’ where safely on the plane. She sat back and relaxed as the flight took off.

When the plane arrived in Sumatra and she turned on her phone, a flurry of texts came in stating that the gibbons did not make it on the plane, and that she had to stay the night near the airport and that they will come the next morning. The gibbons and the rest of team gibbon camped out at a rescue center based in Jakarta for the night. The next morning Dr. Alia finally got reunited with the two gibbons at the cargo hold in Sumatra. The team from Kalaweit rehabilitation center met her at the airport. After a bit of seat rearrangement in the Kalaweit van they were off to the jungles of Sumatra where the gibbons originated from. After a windy road up the mountain and a trip in what can only be described as a retired army truck on a mud ‘road’ they all finally arrived. Dr. Alia and the veterinary team at Kalaweit discussed the history of these two gibbons and they were finally allowed to enter their new jungle rehabilitation enclosure where they would learn how to behave like wild gibbons again and be released into their natural habitat in the future. 

With your help you could help more wildlife like Yona and Manuel become free once again please donate at