WE ARE SO LUCKY!
Ezra says that we’re always lucky, and I think he might be right.
When we were at the Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary yesterday we got a special treat.
A whole group of Silvery Lutung, or Silver Leaf, monkeys came swinging down out of the jungle for a visit. This rarely happens, as they aren’t officially supported or fed by the sanctuary, but they do sometimes come down for a visit.
Here is what we’ve learned about Silver Leaf monkeys:
- They are much smaller than orang utans or proboscis monkeys
- They eat mainly tough leaves and a few seeds and flowers
- Their stomachs have three chambers to help digest their fibrous food
- Their intestines are longer than those of other monkeys, for the same reason
- They live in a matrilineal society, meaning the mamas are in charge and they only allow one adult male per grouping
- They live only on Borneo, Sumatra and a narrow band of peninsular Malaysia (on the west edge)
- They think snake beans are a fantastic treat (what we fed them)
- The main threats to this species are hunting for meat and capture for the pet trade
I’m always wary of monkeys.
They look so human, but they are very definitely wild creatures, and they’re smart, which means they’ll make off with your things as quick as a flash. Those that become used to humans and hang out for food scraps can be especially bold and even dangerous. I would never try to touch a monkey on anything other than it’s own terms. In this case, the monkeys came to us. They sat down with us and ate the snake beans the sanctuary had on hand for them, and even held hands with us, and climbed on Ezra a little.
Ezra is always the one to get touched by the monkeys, we tease him that it’s because he hasn’t fully evolved!
It was a fantastic experience to be graced with their presence and taken into their world for a few minutes. We felt very lucky indeed. And yes, Ez was the one to end up with monkey poo smeared on his arm.
“It’s okay, Mom! It’s for science!”