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This Indonesian Woman Who Is Visually Impaired Has Spent Her Life Protecting Endangered Gibbons

A woman in Indonesia has spent her life protecting endangered gibbons for more than half a decade in West Java.

49-year-old Tini Kasmati has been looking after wild Javan gibbons for over eight years.

She became aware of their struggle after meeting a Dutch student researching the primates in 2014.

Soon after, Kasmati’s eyesight deteriorated, and she lost vision in her left eye in 2016.

“It was hard because I had to go in and out of the jungle, to help the researchers to observe the gibbons and monitor their population at the same time to see whether it had increased or not,” Kasmati told Reuters.

She persisted and continued her efforts in the gibbon’s conservation in the hopes of educating future generations.

Plans to create a protected area around the primate’s habitat have been under discussion.

However, Javan gibbons have struggled to reproduce without help, and inbreeding makes the conservation process difficult.

Illegal trafficking and deforestation have also caused the Javan gibbon’s population to decline.

Kasmati hopes others will join her mission and dreams about buying the land to protect the gibbons.

โ€œGod willing, as long as I can still walk, I will not stop,” she said.

Only 4,000 gibbons remain in the wild and only 24 in Kasmati’s area, according to Conservation International.

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