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  • The Gibbon Warrior

Have you ever tried gibbon yoga?


Each year, the 24th October marks International Gibbon Day (IGD); a great opportunity to raise some much needed awareness for the small, forgotten apes.

© UCL Museums, Oliver Siddons


Guardians of the canopy all over the world put on focused educational events in the form of storytelling, drawing competitions, plays, and in our case, gibbon-themed yoga!

© SwaraOwa; Heidi Ma/ZSL; Borneo Nature Foundation.


I always wonder why gibbons don't feature more heavily in the public spotlight. They're charismatic, look intriguing (infants look like Yoda from Star Wars!), they have a rare monogamous social system (i.e. a male and female pair for life) which is only seen in 5% of mammals, and they sing! What is not to love?

From my PhD research, I can't help but notice a common trend: there is a lack of education regarding gibbons. People often don't realise that tail-less gibbons are part of the Hominoid clade (ape family) and are confused with monkeys.

Days like IGD are therefore great platforms to sing about our swinging cousins!


Last week, for #IGD2018, we put on a few quirky gibbon events at the UCL Grant Museum of Zoology: gibbon yoga, a gibbon movement and creative writing workshop. Led by yoga therapist, Sarah Perry, and author and illustrator, Richard Frost, along with my supervisor and myself to be on hand to answer any gibbon-related questions, it was a full-packed day of wacky ape fun! We strive for bigger and better next year - please come along! In the meantime, come and see me in the Grant Museum when I have a shift!


Stretch those gibbon arms!

King of the swingers

Gibbon creative

© UCL Museums, Oliver Siddons

Tote-ally awesome tees!


It happened! Due to popular demand, on IGD I launched a GibbonWarrior shop with Rapanui clothing: a sustainable, ethical, environmentally-friendly and socially-responsible company. They use organic cotton, renewable energy and non-plastic packaging. I am selling retro StarWars gibbon themed tote bags and tees.

Twenty-five percent of sales goes towards my gibbon research. I'm also hoping these t-shirts spark some interest in passers-by and/or friends, and you can become gibbon advocates yourselves! So please spread the word! Thanks to everyone who has made a purchase thus far - true #gibbonwarriors!


crowdfunder Finance update


Since my last research update, I have spent £153.97. This went towards membership renewal and conference attendance at the Primate Society of Great Britain winter meeting, and additional printing and postage for the remaining crowdfunding rewards to my incredible backers (you should all have received your rewards now). Thank you so much for all your support. The gibbons and I are extremely grateful.


You can see the original campaign here.


E: carolyn.thompson.17@ucl.ac.uk | T: @gibbonresearch | IG: gibbonresearch

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© Carolyn Thompson 2017. All rights reserved.

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