Alan Mootnick

Alan Mootnick, founder/director of The Gibbon Conservation Center in California- the greatest friend of The Great Lesser Ape, has passed away. We will certainly be dedicating the gibbon conference to him and his work and passion. If you would like to contribute to a tribute to Alan at the conference in the form of a photograph(s) or story, please e-mail

A message from the Gibbon Conservation Center- November 4th, 2011:

“To friends of the Gibbon Conservation Center: Sadly we must tell you that Alan Mootnick, founder and Director of the GCC, passed away early this afternoon, surrounded by his family and with a recording of gibbon songs playing in the background. He suffered from complications after heart surgery. We will miss his passion, his humor, his fierce protectiveness of his gibbons and his friends. His dream has become the dream of many. The Gibbon Conservation Center will continue, with a complete staff, scheduled tours and a high standard for gibbon care and preservation taught to us by Alan. Treasure your memories of Alan, as we do…and send him positive thoughts on his journey. His cousin Geri-Ann mentioned that his vital signs began plummeting at around 4:00 a.m. this morning. At the Gibbon Center this morning, Gabi noted that the gibbons began singing unusually early….at 4:00 a.m. Perhaps it was Alan saying goodbye. We’d like to think so.”

Alan Mootnick

Alan Mootnick was the founder and director of the Gibbon Conversation Center (GCC) that

houses one of the largest groups of gibbons in the Western Hemisphere and one of the

rarest groups of apes worldwide. In the past 10 years there have been over 20 gibbons

born at GCC that includes 7 gibbon species. GCC is the only institution in the world to

house all four genera of gibbon.

Alan Mootnick was involved with the study of the social behavior, captive

management, and species identification of gibbons for 34 years, and had over 100

published articles on gibbons. In 1983 he was involved with the discovery and the

naming of the fourth sub-genera of gibbon, and in 2005 he was involved in elevating

the 4 subgenera to 4 genera of gibbon, renamed the genus for the hoolock gibbon,

and involved in elevating the two subspecies of hoolock gibbon to species level.

On a weekly basis Alan assisted personnel at rescue centers, zoos, universities and

government agencies on gibbon related matters, and traveled to Asia yearly to assist

zoos, veterinary colleges, and rescue centers on captive management practices and

species identification of gibbons.

Donations to the Gibbon Conservation Center, in memory of Alan, are appreciated by those caring for the GCC gibbons and continuing to carry on Alan’s passion.

Gibbon Conservation Center

PO Box 800249

Santa Clarita, CA 91380 USA

Phone: 661.296.2737

Fax: 661.296.1237