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Touring Santa Clarita's Gibbon Conservation Center

Original Airdate June 11, 2014

KCET's Nick Hardcastle tours Santa Clarita's Gibbon Conservation Center, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the conservation and study of gibbons. It's currently the only center in the U.S. that focuses specifically on gibbons.

Gibbons are small apes that are commonly found in countries like China, India, and Malaysia. These arboreal apes can travel up to 35 mph as they swing from tree to tree with their long arms. They are best known for their loud calling sounds and highly versatile and "acrobatic" energy. Currently, there are more than five species of gibbons representing all four genera at the center.

The Center was founded by the late Alan Mootnick, who developed a strong fascination for gibbons at the age of just nine. He later went on to become an expert on gibbons and created a "world-class primate breeding and study center."

As adorable as these loud mammals can be, they are also on the endangered species list. The center notes that their natural habitat is destroyed at a rate of 32 acres per minute.

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