Senior Citizens: Blackie and Gibby
Animal Stories from

FROM IPPL International Primate Protection League
August 2019

IPPL may hold the record for having the oldest gibbons on record; Blackie and Gibby.

Gibbon Blackie

Gibbon Gibby

Blackie came to IPPL from Laboratory for Experimental Medicine and Surgery in Primates (LEMSIP) where he had been used in research for about 20 years. When he arrived in 1984, we didnít know much else about him except that he was born around 1958. Because of the research conducted on him, Blackie is deaf, which entails some special care. The animal care staff use a few hand signals that Blackie has learned for things like getting his attention, managing activities during the day, and other communication. Despite his disability, Blackie is a very active gibbon.

Gibby was used in experiments at two different laboratories. He was used in locomotion experiments where he had to run on a treadmill until he collapsed. This included anesthesia twice a day and insertion of electrodes into his muscles to take measurements. Some of the gibbon test subjects did not survive these strenuous experiments. Gibby persevered and eventually ended up here with us in 2007.

Since both gibbons arrived at IPPL, their entire world has changed. They receive healthy, nutritious meals and can spend their days with their mates swinging about their enclosures or relaxing in a hammock. The sanctuary is here to give them the safety, freedom, and TLC they deserve. We also ensure that they special veterinary care for conditions that come with age (more than 20 of the gibbons are seniors!) or the terrible conditions some of our little apes endured in the past.

The gibbons inspire the work we do each and every day, but we cannot do it without the generosity of our donors. Please visit our website [IPPL International Primate Protection League] to learn about our plans for a special new care suite and find out how you can make a difference through the Gibbon Care Fund.

Return to: Animal Stories