Spotlight India: rescue workers reach new heights to save rare gibbons

Recently, I traveled to India to support a team of local rescuers who save the lives of endangered Eastern Hoolock gibbons.

Regardless of where I go around the world, I find such high levels of dedication and professionalism among those involved in animal rescue work.

I may have needed a translator at times during this training but there was no need when it came to expressing our concern, admiration, and respect of the gibbons swinging freely from tree to tree, calling between families as the sun rose over the beautiful mountains of northeastern India. 

Check out this video that shows a bit of the training and the rescue efforts to save these endangered gibbons…

The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) was requested to provide invaluable safety training to the rescuers who at times can be 60 meters high in the trees!

Our training team included Matt and John, members of our Emergency Relief Network Partner, the North Valley Animals in Disaster Group in northern California.

This training was like none other because we got to train in trees under the curious gaze of a gibbon who was fascinated by us!

The safety training taught the responders how to use climbing gear and safety equipment.The rescuers quickly absorbed the material and put the lessons into action throughout our week on-site.

To wrap up the training and rescue work, we visited the Mehao Wildlife Sanctuary where the rescued Eastern Hoolock Gibbons are released to live together in harmony and peace.


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Senior Program Advisor
Senior Program Advisor
Brian Sharp, Emergency Relief Officer, Stranding Coordinator
Manager, Marine Mammal Rescue and Research
Céline Sissler-Bienvenu, Director, France and Francophone Africa
Director, France and Francophone Africa
IFAW Veterinarian
Katie Moore, Deputy Vice President, Conservation and Animal Welfare
Deputy Vice President, Conservation and Animal Welfare
Loïs Lelanchon, Animal Rescue Program Officer
Animal Rescue Program Officer
Shannon Walajtys
Manager, Animal Rescue-Disasters
Vivek Menon, Director of IFAW partner, Wildlife Trust of India
Consulting Senior Advisor to the CEO on Strategic Partnerships & Philanthropy