The Gibbon Conservation Center held its Gibbon-Fest fundraiser Saturday, raising more than $3,000 to help care for and feed the gibbons.
“We have two every year,” said Gabriella Skollar, director of the Gibbon Conservation Center. “We want to raise funds to run this place, but this is also a way to outreach to the community.”
The center houses five species of gibbons out of the 19-20 species in the world, Skollar said.
During the event, guests were able to tour the center, drink beer, enjoy food, lawn games and watch the gibbons enjoy their afternoon meals.
Silent auction items were on display to also help raise money for the center and guests were able to stay the night to hear the gibbons in the morning.
Guests stayed on a hill overlooking the property, said Alma Rodriguez, operations and development manager at the Gibbon Conservation Center. “(The Gibbons) sing at dawn. We wanted to give people the opportunity to hear them.”
“It’s a one-of-a-kind place,” said SCV resident Karla Edwards. She takes all her out of town guests to take tours of the center, and when she heard the center could use donations, she reached out to others.
Mike Roberts of Oakridge Landscape donated and planted a tree at the Gibbon Conservation Preserve, Edwards said.
“Our mission is to promote the conservation study and care of gibbons through public education and habitat preservation,” Rodriguez said.
The center was founded in 1976 and moved to its current location in 1980, said Skollar, who’s originally from Hungary and started volunteering at the center in 2005.
“We need volunteers, so if people have extra time, they can come and help out. Everybody who works here today, started as a volunteer,” she said.
“Gibbons are so similar to us,” she added. “They live in family groups, the way they interact with each other, they sing duets, and are so easy to relate to them. That’s why I love it.”
The center is located off of Bouquet Canyon at 19100 Esguerra Road and open every Saturday and Sunday. For more information on the Gibbons Conservation Center, visit gibboncenter.org.