Name: Arun Rangsi (a Thai Buddhist name meaning “The Rising Sun of Dawn”) ADOPT ME!
Born: August 9, 1979
Favorite food: Plums (though he never met a Fig Newton he didn’t like)
Favorite activity: Sitting high in his totem-pole-shaped wire mesh tower and monitoring IPPL’s gibbon yard
Arun Rangsi is IPPL’s first rescued research gibbon. Born at the Comparative Oncology Laboratory of the University of California at Davis, his mother rejected him at a young age, so he was placed with a substitute “mother” made of wire. He was given the number HLA-98, which was tattooed in blue on his chest. At the lab he had pneumonia twice in his first year of life, he had dysentery twice, and experienced dangerous episodes of weight loss. He would also constantly bang his head, which is a common sign of psychological stress. A human psychiatrist visited him and suggested that Shirley bang her head along with him, which she did and it worked!
Eventually, fate took a positive turn for little HLA-98. The laboratory lost its government funding and HLA-98 came to IPPL on his second birthday. He was given the beautiful Thai name Arun Rangsi which means “the rising sun of dawn”. Arun Rangsi made friends quickly at IPPL and he eventually got so comfortable that he stopped banging his head whenever he got stressed. He was paired with Shanti, another ex-lab gibbon, and together they had a number of children. Here at IPPL he was allowed to have the family life that was denied to him in the lab.
You can read more about Arun Rangsi over the years in our newsletter archives: