TURA, Sept 24 - The Hoolock Gibbon population in Garo Hills region got a boost last week with the birth of a male baby of the highly endangered species at HURO programme rehabilitation centre in Silsotchigre village in West Garo Hills.
The birth of the male Gibbon is the second in captivity after another Gibbon named Sanjay was born in 2014 at the centre.
�A highly endangered Western Hoolock Gibbon baby was born on September 18 from a couple under final rehabilitation stage. The little baby, named Noree by the team, is very healthy and the mother is doing absolutely well too, taking very good care of her newborn,� said Dr Saljagringgrang Marak, the voluntary veterinarian of the programme.
�HURO being the only rescue centre in India and in the world, to take care exclusively of Western Hoolock Gibbon, the birth is welcome as a hope for conservation of the species,� he added.
�Little Noree will not be touched by humans and will remain under the care of his family. He will later be released along with his family members, back to the wild, as soon as our team can find an appropriate and safe place for them, in Meghalaya,� added Dr Marak.
According to reports North East India has lost over 95 per cent of its Hoolock Gibbon population over the past 50 years, mainly because of deforestation and illegal poaching.
�It is important to keep in mind that being the only ape in India, Hoolock Gibbons are highly protected in Annex 1 of the Indian Wildlife Act 1972 and in the same Annex of the CITES Washington Convention,� said Dr Marak.
The Western Hoolock Gibbon is locally known as Huro giving the programme the nomenclature and it is locally a bad omen, according to locals, to kill one.