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... 


grizzlygirl1 said...

What a loss. Hard to believe. SOOOooo sorry he's gone. But so thankful to have known him. The world is a poorer place in his absence.

~ Lindsey Bell

Dr. Alessandra said...

This is a sad loss for us and for the gibbons!

I pray for his eternal life!

Thank you Alan for all you did!!!

Rebecca Dmytryk said...

Al, my pal, i will always miss you, terribly. I will miss the fondness of 30 years. I will miss the hugs and hand-holding - longer and tighter than other humans - probably something you picked up from those lesser apes. I will miss your laugh, but remember it well. I will miss your peculiarities. I will miss your kvetching. I'll miss our chats... now, looking back, there were too few... I will miss your sense of humor and the pranks, always cherishing our first meeting... when you guided Lynne and me into that enclosure and asked us to catch the llama. I miss you so, so, so, so much, my friend... Love you pal.