Sunday, February 14, 2010

Proboscis Monkey Bako n.p.

Bako is probably the best place in Sarawak for wildlife experiences and a place to find proboscis monkey. Quite lucky to see few Proboscis monkey during my recent visit to Bako. The Proboscis Monkey is evaluated as Endangerd on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. This monkey is only found on the islands of Borneo and South East Asia. It is really a funny-looking monkey with big nose and belly. It is thought that the oversized nose on this male monkey may have something to do with a mating ritual. It may be a form of sexual selection with females preferring males with large noses which enhance their vocalizations. However, the nose does more than attract potential mates; it also swells with blood when the animal is angry or upset and makes warning calls louder and much more intense than other species. (Rakow, 2007)

Best place to see the monkey is Bako National Park. It is a home to approximately 150 rare proboscis monkey, found only in Borneo. Ulu Assam is the good place to find this monkey as they come to eat leaves during early morning or afternoon.

An Indonesian nickname for this monkey is “monyet belanda” which means “Dutch monkey.” The reason: the Dutch were among the first to colonize Indonesia and many of the Dutch plantation owners were large men with large red noses and big potbellies.

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