The Madeleine Brand Show is a daily, two-hour program that looks at news and culture through the lens of Southern California.
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Remembering Alan Mootnick, a man devoted to the gibbon ape




Alan Mootnick, 1951 – 2011.
Alan Mootnick, 1951 – 2011.
Jennifer Sharpe
Alan Mootnick, 1951 – 2011.
A mother gibbon with her baby, Santa Clarita.
Jennifer Sharpe
Alan Mootnick, 1951 – 2011.
Alan's long time assistant, Gabriella Skollar, in front of her home at the Center. She's the one who's been taking care of the gibbons since Alan's death.
Jennifer Sharpe
Alan Mootnick, 1951 – 2011.
Alan shows us the first known illustration ever made of a gibbon.
Jennifer Sharpe
Alan Mootnick, 1951 – 2011.
First known illustration of a gibbon ever made.
Jenifer Sharpe
Alan Mootnick, 1951 – 2011.
Alan's stuffed animal gibbons.
Jennifer Sharpe
Alan Mootnick, 1951 – 2011.
Alan's inanimate primates.
Jennifer Sharpe
Alan Mootnick, 1951 – 2011.
Alan at home.
Jennifer Sharpe
Alan Mootnick, 1951 – 2011.
The Gibbon Conservation Center, Santa Clarita, California.
Jennifer Sharpe


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Primatologist Alan Mootnick spent much of his life surrounded by gibbons. Gibbons are small apes native to Southeast Asia, and their numbers in the wild are dwindling fast. Mootnick created a refuge for the animals, the Gibbon Conservation Center, on 10 acres in Santa Clarita. Although he had no formal training and never finished college, Mootnick's passion for the apes led him to become one of the world's leading primate specialists. Alan Mootnick died on Friday, of complications following heart surgery.

A month ago, reporter Jennifer Sharpe visited Mootnick in Santa Clarita. Mootnick talked about his plan to save the endangered gibbons, and how he became so attached to this particular animal.