Happy first day of summer from the gibbons and otters at IPPL. (Happy first day of winter to our friends at J.A.C.K., and the rest of the southern hemisphere.) It seemed very appropriate that we had this beautiful rainbow over Primate Lane to start off the summer. Some people say that the first day of summer is the longest day of the year. Others believe it is the shortest day of the year. What is the right answer? It can actually be seen both ways. While the sun shines longer on June 21st, the days get shorter and shorter every day after. Regardless of what the calendars or experts say, the gibbons seem to know when the Summer Solstice is approaching. They sing enthusiastically and become more playful with each other as the longer days approach, as if to say “Summer is here”! At IPPL, summer time also means new growth, new life and trying to find ways to beat the HEAT!
The blueberries, blackberries and raspberries growing on site are being harvested for the gibbons to enjoy. The gibbons watch with anticipation as berries are picked. They know that a caregiver will give them a tasty treat fresh off of the bush. We are fortunate to have some people from the local garden clubs come out each year and sow seeds in our vegetable gardens. The gibbons love the fresh tomatoes, peppers and sweet potatoes that come out of those gardens. And if that wasn’t enough, there is hundreds of feet of grapevines growing all over the property, covering the gibbon enclosures and tubes they use to move about. It’s very convenient for any gibbon that wants an in between meal snack.
Although we do not breed our gibbons or otters at IPPL, our woodland friends seem to like to raise their families here. We enjoy watching them grow up as well. We have a variety of wildlife, including white tailed deer, several species of turtles, raccoons, opossums, and the list goes on and on.
Although last month was the hottest May is the past 80 years, the upcoming months should be even hotter. During the summer here, the temperatures can reach 100º! That’s hot even for gibbons and otters. Luckily our amazing caregivers have found ways to keep them cool and refreshed.
Although the natural habitat range for wild gibbons is found in the tropics of Asia, the gibbons who live at IPPL were either too young to remember living there when they were kidnapped or were born in captivity. They love to bask in the morning sun and tend to enjoy warm days more than the cold, however they often choose the shade in the heat of the day.
Made in the shade
We all know how good it can feel to cool off on a hot summer day. The same is true for the sanctuary’s resident. How can you help? Sun shades ensure the gibbons and otters can beat the heat. The lightweight fabric sunshades provide shady areas in the enclosures and sky tunnels or “tubes” that connect the houses and play yards across the of the property. We have had some wonderful sunshades donated to us from our gibbon guardians using the AmazonSmile wishlist. As you can see, Chloe really enjoys hers!
Many of our international partners are in the southern hemisphere where the first day of winter is arriving. Even though a few are so close to the equator there wouldn’t be much of a difference in daylight hours. No matter where you are, we wish you the very best for the new season and a safe and happy weekend.