Nov 5, 2011

Loss of a friend and colleague...

The world has lost a great human being - a kind, brilliant, smart-witted man who dedicated his life to the conservation of gibbons - the gangly, long-limbed arboreal apes of Southeast Asia - all endangered.

For those unfamiliar with his work, please visit the Gibbon Conservation Center web site.

Funeral services will be held at Groman Eden Mortuary, 11500 Sepulveda Blvd., Mission Hills, on Tuesday, November 8, 2011, at 10am.  In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to the Gibbon Conservation Center for its continued success.

Alan Richard Mootnick, 1951-2011
A Savior of Endangered Apes  

Alan Richard Mootnick—one of the world’s foremost specialists and conservationists of gibbons—passed away on Friday, November 4, 2011, from complications following heart surgery.  He was 60 years old.

 Mootnick founded the non-profit Gibbon Conservation Center (GCC) in Santa Clarita, CA, in 1976, with the purpose to prevent the extinction of gibbons—small Southeast Asian apes—and to advance the study, propagation, and conservation of the species.
What started as a childhood fascination with gibbons developed into an important sanctuary, housing the largest gathering of endangered apes in the Western Hemisphere.  Completely self-taught in primatology, Mootnick was one of a team responsible for the identification and naming of the highly endangered Hoolock Gibbon.  

He published more than 30 articles in peer-reviewed journals and offered advice to zoos, government agencies, veterinary universities, and gibbon rescue centers throughout the world.  

Mootnick and his work touched countless individuals and institutions.  Hundreds of school children and students visit the Gibbon Conservation Center yearly, and the general public enjoys the annual “Breakfast With the Gibbons” fundraiser. 

Known for an eccentric style—gray-spotted beard, constant suspenders, and dry sense of humor—Mootnick was a person not easily forgotten...