Gibbon wake-up call

Gibbon wake-up call

We arrived in Sumatra two days ago and woke our first morning to the wild and bellowing call of the gibbon. I’ve woken to coyotes, owls, New York CIty taxi cabs, the Colorado River down at the bottom of the Grand Canyon, the haunting cry of sandhill cranes in Nebraska, but nothing prepared me for this in-your-face primate proclamation. I’ve learned these are territorial calls. No worries gibbons. This stretch of Sumatran jungle is all yours.

We are visiting two International School campuses in Sumatra, the 6th largest island in the world and home to more than 50 million people. (Vermont, where we live, has just over half a million people.) Once lush tropical rainforest covered Sumatra from coast to coast. Like so many habitat loss stories around the world, much of this biological wildlife paradise has been lost to development and palm oil plantations. Yet, deep, deep in the untracked remnants of forest live lovely reddish-brown orangutans, and even some last Sumatran rhinos.

Listen to a gibbon here:



January 20, 2014 · 1:43 pm

3 responses to “Gibbon wake-up call

  1. Sophie

    Hi I am Sophie I can not wait for you to come to ISR. I am a wolf lover I hope you can share some facts with the 5/6 grade class. You saw gibbons but I see Big T. Big T is a monkey that is bigger than the other monkeys. I hope you will share some of your books. I hope you have a good stay.

  2. Natalie

    Mr. Swinburne,
    I am looking forward to your visit. I also love animals like you do. Maybe you could write about one of Sumatra’s animals.
    From, Natalie

  3. Diana Dragonetti

    Dear Mr. Swinburne,

    We are the Grade 1 / 2 Zone from ISR. We have read lots of your books. They are all so good. You are very good at poems and writing books. We have written poems after reading your book Ocean Soup. We are looking forward to your visit!

    The 1/2 Zone

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