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Santa Clarita CA
Today in
S.C.V. History
January 26
1990 - "Duplicates" premieres at L.A. Phil; concerto by CalArts Music School dean Mel Powell wins Pulitzer Prize [story]
Mel Powell

Gabriella Skollar, director of the Gibbon Conservation Center.

Dear Friends of the Gibbon Center,

As the end of 2022 approaches, I want to express my gratitude for your ongoing support throughout the year. Your generosity and encouragement keep us going and enable us to tackle daily challenges.

Last year, with your help, we made a crucial step towards our future by purchasing our current site. Landownership provides us with opportunities but also additional responsibilities, including a mortgage, taxes, insurance, improvements, and repairs.

Our goals must evolve to meet the immediate needs of the gibbons. Although our long-term goal remains to find a more suitable site for the Center, we made significant improvements at our current location. In preparation for the summer, we purchased a fourth high-pressure pump and installed misting clusters on all the gibbons’ enclosures to provide more powerful cooling and increase humidity. We added additional shade tarps as well. For the winter, we continued replacing our Igloo-shaped sleeping boxes with better insulated ones. We also installed heated platforms for the gibbons to enjoy during the day.

We welcomed a new staff member, Sophia Padden, an Exotic Animal Training and Management Program (EATM) graduate and long-time volunteer. Besides caregiving responsibilities, she has taken over training and coordinating volunteers. Volunteers are essential for the Center’s operations; they help us with various tasks, including food preparation, behavior observation, and grounds maintenance. To show our appreciation we organized a tour for our volunteers to the Los Angeles Zoo and invited out the Los Angeles Zoo volunteers for a tour in exchange. Both groups gained valuable insight from the exchange as they share a similar love of animals and animal conservation.

With COVID-19 cases decreasing, we hosted more visitors this year than in the previous two years. We are grateful for all the Anthropology and Biology professors who have sent and continue to send their students to the GCC. In addition, a generous grant enabled us to offer Field Trip Scholarships to Title 1 schools, covering transportation costs and the entrance fee for the students. This year, we hosted two schools in the fall semester and expect to host more next spring.

Gibbon Student Letter

In November, I presented at the 3rd International Gibbon Husbandry, Health, and Conservation Conference in Hanoi, Vietnam. Approximately 40 people across the globe working with gibbons were invited to discuss topics related to gibbon husbandry, genetics, veterinary care, and behavior. It allowed us to collaborate, build new connections, and discuss future projects. The event was organized by Dr. Susan Cheyne and Holly Thompson in collaboration with Three Monkeys Wildlife Conservancy and the Vietnam National University of Forestry. After the conference, we went on a field trip to Van Long Reserve and the Endangered Primate Rescue Center (EPRC). Established in 1993, EPRC is dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation, breeding, research, and conservation of Vietnam’s endangered and critically endangered primate species.

Before the conference, we hosted Dr. Susan Cheyne and Lauren Lansdowne at the GCC to talk about a collaboration on a future research project to identify genetic markers which categorize gibbon species. During their visit, both researchers presented a talk at Cal State L.A.: Susan on her conservation work in Borneo and Lauren on identifying gibbon species and hybrids.

Staff and Gibbon

On March 25, Astriks, a northern white-cheeked gibbon, gave birth to a healthy little girl; a wonderful new addition to a critically endangered species. We named the baby Ms. Roderick to honor our dear friend and board member Chris Roderick who passed away in 2021.
With the new year approaching, we continue to work on existing projects and identify goals and objectives for the next year.

Medical Room:
We have acquired a portable structure for our new examination room through generous donations. We seek grants and public support to furnish it with medical equipment such as an anesthesia machine, a portable X-ray machine, and a microscope. This larger and better-equipped facility will help us provide onsite medical care for our gibbons and allow us to host veterinarian students at the Center.

Larger Enclosures:

We started a collaboration with USC Industrial Engineering professors and their students. The goal is to design a gibbon enclosure that is larger, quicker, and easier to build than our current enclosures. It must also be modular to assemble, disassemble, and portable to move from one location to another using standard ground transportation.

The Mechanical Engineering and Architecture Teams will get involved next semester to create a physical design. As a part of the design criteria, we set the budget target to $30,000 per enclosure, which cheaper than an alternative quote of $80,000.

Currently, all the construction and repairs are on Jesse’s shoulders, and we have three large construction projects. Our current enclosures take a long time to build. We are excited about this new project. If it is successful, we will replicate the design and give our gibbons more space to live.

Landscaping and Development:
The GCC occupies 5 acres of land, but currently, we only use about 3 acres. We are looking at ways to utilize the entire space more efficiently. We want to develop part of the unused land for the community, install a new perimeter fence and gate, plant more trees, and build a new gift shop. In addition, our existing trees require serious trimming, they are now too large for our Staff to trim them, and we will have to hire a service which is currently beyond our budget.

Again, I want to thank you our GCC community for helping us to continue our mission. Your support is tremendously appreciated at any time and in any form, from Wishlist items to social media sharing and donations. We are happy to see some familiar faces and look forward to seeing more this next year.

We are determined to continue to improve our habitat for the gibbons and fulfill our mission of preserving these rare, magnificent apes while educating people about them. I am constantly impressed and feel privileged to be part of my team and this community.

Please consider making a year-end donation to help us continue our work and make these new projects possible.

We wish you a peaceful Holiday Season and a Happy New Year!


Gabi, the Staff and the Gibbons


If you would like to donate to the Gibbon Conservation Center, click [here].

P.S. Many companies match their employee donations. Some require a letter while others the Center’s GCC Tax ID 95-4256306. If you need a letter for your match, email alma@gibboncenter.org.

Alan Jr.

Gibbon Center

Gibbon Center

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