Gibbon Conservation Center leaving the SCV

Primate care specialist Jodi Kleier feeds one of the Conservation Center's gibbons. Bobby Block / The Signal
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The Gibbon Conservation Center is leaving its Saugus home of more than 40 years this summer, set to move to Santa Margarita in San Luis Obispo County.

The center is in escrow for a 26-acre property, and the organization hopes to move by the time its current lease ends in July, according to Gabi Skollar, the center’s director.

“We’re looking to expand and have larger enclosures for the gibbons,” Skollar said, adding that the current property in Saugus is only 5 acres. “(But) we are also sad to leave because we have friends here and a very supporting community.”

Around three dozen gibbons are set to make the move to their new home, which is expected to have a workshop area for building and repairs, housing for interns, two greenhouses, a fruit orchard and more than two dozen trees, solar power and numerous storage sheds.

A northern white-cheeked female baby gibbon holds onto her mother, Asteriks, as she sits with her mate, Pierre at the Gibbon Conservation Center on Thursday. Lorena Mejia/The Signal

In addition, the climate will be better for the gibbons up along the Central Coast, as the SCV is too hot and dry for their typical climate, Skollar added.

In the meantime, residents can swing into the now reopened Saugus center for a visit before the gibbons move away.

Reservations are required to visit the Gibbon Conservation Center, which is open to the public each Saturday and Sunday for a fee of $15 per adult, $10 seniors, $12 students and teens, $5 kids ages 5-12, and free for those younger than 5, with a max of 20 people per group. The center is located at 19100 Esguerra Road in Saugus. 

For more information, visit or call the center at 661-296-2737. 

Howard clings on to his mother, Tuk, at the Gibbon Conservation Center in Santa Clarita on Thursday, Feb. 1, 2018. The center houses the rarest group of apes in the Western Hemisphere and is the only institution in the world to house and breed all four genera of gibbons. Nikolas Samuels/The Signal

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