Arun Rangsi

We are all devastated to report the loss of our first lab gibbon, Arun Rangsi (“Ruie”) who was also Shirley McGreal’s  “heart gibbon.” He came to IPPL from the University of California, which used gibbons in viral cancer experiments that caused them great suffering and death.

Born at the lab in 1979, his mother rejected him. He was tattooed with the number HL-98 and raised with a swinging wire surrogate mother. What a horrific way for this baby gibbon to start his life. He had many illnesses during his first two years of life, including two bouts of pneumonia and two episodes of dysentery. But this little gibbon was determined to survive.

Then good news! The lab lost its funding and 55 gibbons needed homes. Ardith Eudey, co-founder of IPPL, heard that “HL-98” might be killed as he was said to be “metabolically abnormal” and “mentally retarded.” IPPL stepped in and at two years of age, this little gibbon arrived at IPPL. Our Thai friend Katie Buri asked the monks at Wat Arun in Bangkok to select a name for him and they chose “Arun Rangsi,” which means “The Rising Sun of Dawn.”

With this first lab rescue, Ruie paved the way for many more gibbons to escape the tiny cages in labs to enjoy the exceptional care at IPPL’s sanctuary. And when Shanti arrived from another lab, she was introduced to Ruie. They lived happily together for over three decades!

In early December 2018 Arun Rangsi suddenly fell ill and refused to eat or drink. The vet did ultrasound and other tests. We believe it was a severe pancreas problem and he continued to deteriorate. Sadly, on  December 19 he was gently put to sleep. He was 39.

Arun Rangsi came to us as a frail little gibbon with only a tattoo for a name. Out of the horrors of a lab, he enjoyed 37 wonderful years in the peaceful surroundings of our sanctuary with his mate, Shanti, and the company of many other singing gibbons. We will miss him but we will always have special memories of this sweet little ape.