Lauren Mueller

HURO HURO. This once familiar sound echoed throughout the hills of Meghalaya, India. Today, it has all but disappeared. Huro means Gibbon in Garo, the language of the indigenous people of Meghalaya, and also mimics the iconic call of the exuberant primate.

Gibbons are smaller apes native to the forests of Southern Asia. Over the past several decades their numbers have decreased dramatically due to pet trade, poaching, Chinese medicine and deforestation, making them the most endangered primate species. Several conservation centers in Asia strive to protect and rehabilitate gibbons taken from the wild, but dwindling forested land makes it difficult to successfully return them to their natural environment.

Huro Huro presents three conservation centers in India, Thailand and the United States committed to preserving gibbons. The film explores their disparate perspectives on conservation and raises questions about the effectiveness of varied practices and philosophies.

Will gibbons ever be successfully reintroduced to the wild, or are they trapped in a cycle of life-long captivity under the guise of conservation?