This is part of an ongoing personal project photographing non-human species in the same way I photograph humans. The goal is for viewers to find that empathy towards each subject by seeing a sense of their own humanity in each face, an attempt at setting aside that sense of the “other.”
Pepper, 8 years old, is a northern white-cheeked gibbon living at the Gibbon Conservation Center, where she was born and raised. Currently, they care for 38 gibbons, encompassing 5 of the 20 different extant species.
Northern white-cheeked gibbons are critically endangered in Vietnam and Laos due to widespread hunting and logging of their habitat, and they are most likely extinct in southern Yunnan, China. The GCC participates in a successful captive breeding program to preserve the species from becoming extinct.
At age 8, Pepper is nearing the end of her color change, and she more and more resembles her mother, Ricky, in both her appearance and behavior. Just like her mother, Pepper took up the role of leading the gibbons' song at the GCC. She sings for only about 10-15 minutes, and after she gets everyone going, she just sits back, relaxes, and finishes her meal. She is also known to manipulate objects in her enclosure such as removing clips and loosening nuts and bolts.
Thank you kindly, Gabi Skollar (Director, GCC), for sharing your love, care and knowledge with us and others.