10 June 2009

Wet and wild monkeys on Sentosa

It was a humid and hot morning as TeamSeagrass monitored the natural shores of Sentosa. I think I must have sweated litres even before sunrise.
So it really wasn't a surprise to see the wild Long-tailed macaques of Sentosa splashing about in the sea! They must have been feeling hot too!

Long-tailed macaques (Macaca fascicularis) are also called Crab-eating macaques. These animals are native to Singapore and their original habitat was mangroves! So it's natural that they would be happy in the water.

And these three young monkeys sure had a splashing time!
Chasing one another.
And even diving into the water and staying down for a time!
They also swam with their head above the water: doing the 'monkey paddle'?
It did look cool and inviting in the water and I felt quite tempted to join them. Ha ha!

Initially though, the three little monkeys caused a bit of ruckus as they clambered down the natural cliffs and appeared to head for our backpacks and breakfast.
They were bold. Dashing forward aggressively towards us and standing their ground when we tried to shoo them away.
Eventually, they realised we didn't scare as easily as most people and wandered away.

Towards a monitor lizard that had also come down from the coastal forest into the water. It was getting to be a quite a wildlife National Geographic moment.
The naughty little monkeys chased the lizard into a crevice in the cliff.
And promptly rushed out again. The lizard was obviously in no mood for them, having been deprived of his morning dip.

As we left the shore, MORE monkeys emerged out of the coastal forest.
This large confident male fortunately left us alone.

This is my first time seeing monkeys swiming and playing in the sea. And also the first time seeing so many of them on this shore.

We made sure we brought all our food back with us. It's probably a good idea NOT to bring food to Sentosa when we do shore work here in the future.

It's important NOT to feed the monkeys as this makes them aggressive and dependent on people for food. Here's more on why we should not feed monkeys.

Check out Vanitha's great clips of the monkeys on her Peripheral Vision blog.


  1. i guess this is the true nature of the crab-eating macaques :)



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