I visited with a couple of my favorite animals the other day – two young Palawan monkeys. These little guys are pets, living at a rest stop on the road to the Puerto Princesa Underground River. They loved the cooked saba bananas I bought for them.
Monkeys have dexterous hands and feet. This little one is working on her cooked banana, using her mouth, hands and feet to get the peel off. Palawan monkeys are omnivorous. They really do love bananas, but their diet includes a many other things, too, like forest fruits, insects, and lizards. They know how to swim, and can dive into rivers to catch crabs and other crustaceans.
Palawan monkeys are a species of macaque. Sometimes they are called Crab-eating Macaque, sometimes called Palawan Macaque, or Philippine Macaque. They live in forests, plains, and among cliffs and rocky terrain. In fact Palawan is home to several unique species of animals and birds, including my beloved pangolins and bear cats (binturong), and a beautiful parrot.
Underground River Monkey Colony
Macaques live in troops of varying size. A large troop lives in the neighborhood of the Puerto Princesa Underground River. Their diet includes lunches stolen from unwary tourists!
Good climbers, they spend a lot of time in trees. Those four hands really help shimmying up trees. Their long tails add balance. The handsome guy below peers down at tourists from the top of a structure at the Underground River.
Several times, driving along the roads here on Palawan, through thick forest, we’ve spotted monkeys. Once a mother hugging her tiny baby to her chest loped across the road in front of us. Last week, a large, whiskery male sitting on a rock beside the road watched us drive by.
The picture below is of a young monkey.
In researching macaques I learned that they were used extensively in studies leading to development of the polio vaccine. So now I can add ‘Hero’ to the list of this little animals’ accomplishments.
Can you tell that I love these little monkeys?