I was in Borneo for macro “things”, for frogs, snakes, ants and plants… but I must admit that some monkeys really captured my soul at least for a few moments. Visiting Labuk Bay (in search of mudskippers mainly) I couldn’t avoid to go visit the Proboscis monkey (Nasalis larvatus) sanctuary, where also Silver Langur (Trachypithecus cristatus) occurs.
Watching monkey species for the first time, both smaller species and great apes, is something that always astonish me and leave me with a sort of reverence for these true cousins of us. I don’t normally give “human attitude” to animals, except when joking, but in the case of monkeys it’s almost impossible to avoid “anthropomorphizing” them.
First ones I met where the Silver Langur (Trachypithecus cristatus) , already present at the visitor centre and deliberately walking and nursing their young among people. I was particularly attracted by a half-blind female with her baby, and as I discovered shortly after, the little fella was also attracted by my Nikon camera too! I kept the interaction at minimum, but as you can see by the images, it was not my fault if we had a “chat”.
The second species was the most wanted by all visitors, the mythical Proboscis monkey (Nasalis larvatus). A species that only lives along mangrove swamps and riverine forests of Borneo, adapted to consume the toxic leaves of mangrove trees without being hurt. But the main feature they are most famous for is a particular characteristic of males: a long, always in view and quite big….. nose!
And yes, the dominant males have another “always in view” feature as you could discover into my images….
I loved to photograph the very friendly females, that came very close while eating some vegetables offered by the personnel of the visitor centre. They all seem to be just came out from a hairdressing session, not really like the punk attitude of the silver langur (whose specific latin name means “crested”). They’ve also a very gentle, almost shy glance, that totally captured my heart. I played with their eyes and with their hairy hands and feet, while I was amazed to witness how easily they jumped here and there among trees.
At the end of the day, sometimes, I can go with the “bigger ones” without being hurt too much!