Wednesday, April 24

Civil Defence Force rescues proboscis monkey

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SIBU: An endangered proboscis monkey was rescued on Monday night after a member of the public notified the Civil Defence Force and Sibu Community Policing Organisation.

The young long-nosed monkey, weighing less than five kg, was resting on the veranda of the first floor of a building in Sungai Merah.

A Civil Defence Force personnel said the young monkey was spotted wandering in the neighbourhood for a couple of days.

“The monkey looks tame. We believe it had been illegally held captive and the young long-nose creature could have escaped, ending up in Sungai Merah. We had no problem in the rescue, as the monkey was not aggressive,” he said.

Adding that residents did not say the monkey had harassed them, he said after the rescue one of them took the monkey home for an overnight stay.

Yesterday morning, they handed it over to Sarawak Forestry’s Swift Wildlife Action Team (SWAT).

The Civil Defence Force personnel said the monkey was tame and well-liked by staff in his office.

The proboscis monkey (Nasalis larvatus) or long-nosed monkey is a reddish-brown arboreal Old World monkey that is endemic to Borneo. It co-exists with the Bornean orangutan.

Found mostly in Borneo, the mammal is a large species, being one of the largest monkey species native to Asia.

It is found commonly in coastal areas and along rivers in the lowland.

It favours dipterocarp, mangrove and riverine forests and can also be found in swamp forests, stunted swamp forests, rubber forests, rubber plantations, limestone hill forests, nypa swamps, nibong swamps, and tall swamp forests, tropical heath forests and steep cliffs.

This species usually stays within at least a kilometre from a water source. It is perhaps the most aquatic of the primates and is a fairly good swimmer, capable of swimming up to 20 metres (66 ft) underwater.

The proboscis monkey moves quadrupedally and by leaps. It is known to jump off branches and descend into water. It eats primarily fruit, leaves, flowers, seeds and insects.

The proboscis monkey is listed as endangered in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

Its total population has decreased by more than 50 per cent in the past four decades.

These protected monkeys can be found in Bako National Park, Gunung Pueh Forest Reserve, Kabili-Sepilok Forest Reserve, Klias National Park, Kulamba Wildlife Reserve, Lower Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary, Sungei Samunsam Wildlife Sanctuary and Ulu Segama Reserve in Malaysia.