Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This

This is an archival story that predates current editorial management.

This archival content was written, edited, and published prior to LAist's acquisition by its current owner, Southern California Public Radio ("SCPR"). Content, such as language choice and subject matter, in archival articles therefore may not align with SCPR's current editorial standards. To learn more about those standards and why we make this distinction, please click here.

Food

Eat Vegan Food to Help Local Endangered Gibbons

Before you read more...
Dear reader, we're asking you to help us keep local news available for all. Your tax-deductible financial support keeps our stories free to read, instead of hidden behind paywalls. We believe when reliable local reporting is widely available, the entire community benefits. Thank you for investing in your neighborhood.

Tucked up in a remote corner of the Santa Clarita Valley is something quite unusual. A large swath of near-high desert land is home to 35 gibbons (a newborn is expected to make it 36 this weekend) from 15 difference species.

If you've ever sat and watched Gibbons, you'll quickly find that this is martial arts at its best. These small apes can leap distances of 50 feet at speeds up to 35 miles per hour. In play, they'll swing towards another, land with a quick somersault and throw a quick punch before bouncing up the wall and swinging away. All within a few seconds, we might add.

These rare primates from are Asia are quickly losing their homes as forests are plowed over. The Gibbon Conservation Center was set up in 1976 by Alan Mootnick, who became fascinated by the animals while growing up in the Valley neighborhood of, interestingly enough, Tarzana. His organization has aided in gibbon rescues in various countries and currently holds the world's second largest gibbon population outside their countries of origin.

While the facility has held up well over the years, Mootnick wants to move to Ventura County, where the climate will be better for the Gibbons and he'll have more space. This Sunday, his popular semi-annual fundraiser event will help raise money for that endeavor. For $35 or $40 (depending if you pre-pay and cheaper for the kids), people will enjoy a vegan breakfast on Sunday morning surrounded by Gibbons. If you get there early enough, you might here the apes sing. And wow, do they ever sing!