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.
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