Lonely gibbon goes to forest to live with partner

>> Wednesday, August 20, 2008

She learnt to watch TV, reacted to pictures of food in magazines and even ate with a spoon -- but in the end she went to live in the woods with her partner.

Her name is Siloni, a female captive-reared Hoolock Gibbon, who in a first-ever success story of rehabilitation of the rare ape in India was released in the wild after being reared in a temporary enclosure till her sexual maturity and subsequent matrimony with a male in the Kaziranga National Park.

"The animal has conceived and we are expecting the baby within a few months. Foresters are monitoring the movement of the couple and everything is normal," the park's director, Suren Buragohain, said.

Siloni was rescued from a temple in Assam's Golaghat district by Buragohain when he was the Divisional Forest Officer there in 2003.

"She was in an injured condition when I brought it from a priest. I took her to my home and nurtured it. She had developed acquaintance with humans as she had learnt to watch TV, react to pictures in books and even eat with a spoon," the director said.

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