KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 23 (Bernama) -- "Happiness for you is their suffering,” said Gibbon Protection Society of Malaysi (GPSM) president Mariani Ramli in expressing her regrets over the increase in primates being kept as pets by the public.
She told Bernama that many people in the country are not aware that primates, including gibbons, have high aesthetic value in the wild.
“Taking them as pets will causes habitat destruction. For example, gibbons, they play an important role in the forest because there are some tree that only this animal can breed.
“For those who keep gibbons illegally as pets, in having the animal in their house, all their (gibbon) family members have to be killed just so to get the baby, and this causes the species to become almost extinct,” she said when met at the 'Project Monyet' photo exhibition here, recently.
Mariani is the winner of the prestigious award, The Edge Inspiring Young Leaders Awards (TEIYLA) 2019, and is actively involved in the fight against smuggling of exotic animals in Malaysia.
MARIANI- PRIMATE 2 KUALA LUMPUR
To address the problem, she said the society should be exposed and educated on primates.
“The primates in Malaysia are still unknown and are not exposed where the gibbons, also known as the king of swingers, is the fastest ape in the world and can sing.
“Therefore, students and the public are encouraged to learn about wildlife so that incidents like the Sumatran rhino and tiger being threatened with extinction will not happen,” she added.
Mariani, who has been active in the 'stop the demand to stop the threat' campaign at institutions of higher learning since 2013, also proposed a move to curb illegal hunting of primates.
“The easiest way is through the social media where the public can complain if they know of illegal selling or possession of wildlife to us or to the Wildlife Department,” she added.
MARIANI - PRIMATE 3 (LAST) KUALA LUMPUR
She said deforestation should also be avoided and any development to be carried out should be carefully considered to ensure the projects would have drastic impact on the wildlife and its habitat.
The 'Project Monyet' programme, which runs from Nov 16 to 28, is a photography exhibition featuring 14 of the 25 primates in Malaysia.