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Thought I would bring it down a notch with a somewhat less dramatic image today and reintroduce you to my furry little friend Plai, a young White-Handed (aka Lar) Gibbon up at Khao Kheow Open Zoo here in Thailand.

The White-Handed Gibbon used to range from southwestern China through Myanmar (Burma), Thailand, Laos, mainland Malaysia to the northwestern portion of Sumatra, Indonesia, thriving in the primary and secondary rainforests, though this is yet another species whose numbers have greatly diminished over the years due to deforestation, being hunted for meat, and the young being captured for pets. As a result of this, their status in the wild is listed as Endangered (EN). It is believed that the White-Handed Gibbon is now completely extinct in China.

When I first moved to Thailand in 1990, a night out on the town would inevitably bring one in contact with a local man with a baby gibbon offering to take your picture together with it, there were even bars that had young gibbons chained up for the supposed amusement of visitors. As sad a spectacle as that was, it was all the more sad knowing that in order to separate the baby from it's mother in the wild, the hunter would usually have kill the parents; older gibbons were not thought of as desirable for pets.

Thankfully, the Thai government eventually put a stop to this practice of gibbons for tourist entertainment, and there are more than a few gibbon rehabilitations centres around Thailand were rescued gibbons are taken good care of.

Thank you for taking an interest and wishing you all a wonderful weekend!

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