Sunday, 24 September 2017

KLIAS WETLAND: Monkey Land (Part 2)

Proboscis monkeys are considered endangered

"That's because the government didn't stop the developers from clearing the wetlands" Maniam added. "To them, wetlands are wastelands. These areas are turned into real estate developments. How many local and endemic species, which might be unique and endangered, would be lost forever due to the damage they created" Frederick said. THE EURASIANS Chapter 49 Page 215

Klias Wetland is about 2 hours drive from the capital city center of North Borneo (Sabah), Jesselton (Kota Kinabalu). Besides the beautiful islands surrounding North Borneo and the majestic Mount Kinabalu, the Klias Wetland is another interesting place to visit. There are several other wetlands that is awesome, but here is the most famous one.

Another picture of the Long Nose Monkeys

My greatest worry was not having the opportunity to encounter with the Proboscis Monkeys. Sometime it is call the Long Nosed Monkey, because of its big nose. The Indonesian call them Monyet Belanda (Dutch Monkey) a remark they made to describe their Dutch colonizers. Some scientists believed the big nose is for attracting females or for intimidating rival males. Their habitat is usually along the rivers and mangrove swarms and they can only be found in Borneo. Proboscis are considered endangered species and for decades the Sabah (North Borneo) Wildlife Department had made tremendous efforts to protect them.

The Lutung
 I asked the boatman before we embark on the boat whether we will have the chance to see these monkeys. He took a deep breath, kept quiet for a few seconds; and said, "sometimes if we are lucky, we will see many of them. They usually avoids the hot sun and thus spent most of their time on the ground. If they are on the ground, it is very difficult to spot them.  In the bad days, we will only see a few of them but so far never no sighting at all."

Visitors hoping to catch a glimpse of the monkeys
But that day, indeed we were lucky. The hundreds of visitors including us managed to see monkeys in almost all the canopies of trees we past along both sides of the river bank. The boatman told me, possibly it was because of the cool weather that encouraged them to go out in large numbers. We were happy to see those monkeys jumping from branches to branches and trees to trees.

I saw another troop of monkeys and thought they were black Proboscis. The boatman corrected me and told me they were Silvered Leaf Monkey or Lutung. They were playing alongside the Proboscis. Later on I found out that, unlike the Proboscis which is only found in Borneo, Lutung could also be found not only on this island, but also in Sumatra as well as Malaya (West Malaysia). 

Crab-eating macaques
There were also many long tailed monkey or better known as crab-eating macaque foraging for their favorite food in the mangrove swamp. Of course their favorite food is the crab! These monkeys are common and can be found all over southeast Asia.


The first English romance-thriller from Borneo

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