Sonja Wildlife Rescue Centre: Home to Rare Indian Ape Species
The Sonja Wildlife Rescue Centre in the northeastern state of Meghalaya has come up as an important shelter for rare India ape species called the Huro or Western Hoolock Gibbon.
Situated about 40 km from Tura, in Silsotchigre, Sonja Wildlife Rescue Centre is a place where the Western Hoolock Gibbons mainly found in the Selbagre Hoolock Gibbon Reserve in Meghalaya’s West Garo Hills District are being rehabilitated. The centre has been running for nine years now and is able to generate awareness among locals regarding the conservation of the endangered Gibbon. The Gibbons living here have been rescued from the villages where it is believed they were illegally held. Many youngsters are seen engaged in rehabilitation activities at the centre and are being trained by activists familiar with the behavior of apes. Also, several researchers and students from abroad visit the centre in order to conduct research and study about this rare species of ape. According to these scholars, the one of the most vital steps towards conserving the endangered species of Gibbon is the promotion of the Sonja Wildlife Rescue Centre as well as the ape itself.
At present, there are eight Gibbons at the rescue centre that are provided proper care as per the guidelines of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) norms.