Close encounters with dangly nosed monkeys!
Labuk Bay Travel Blog› entry 29 of 44 › view all entries
After our arrival back to Sandikan from Uncle Tans we decided that we would take a day trip to a place called Labuk Bay where you had the chance to see Proboscis monkeys fairly close. Although we had seen these very charasmatic, unique monkeys along the Kinabatangan river we were never really close enough to see anything other than an outline of something with a large dangling nose sitting in a tree. We caught a shuttle bus from the town to Labuk Bay which took about 2 hours. Labuk bay slotted in perfectly to the long list of ironicly odd places where wild life is still clinging on. A couple of brothers, both named Mr Lee, bought a large plot of forest a few years ago with the view of setting up a vast palm oil plantation.
Picture a patch of forest surrounded by palm oil plantations and you will have Labuk Bay! Although some of the forest was left in tact for the monkeys sadly not enough was saved to sustain them. Therefore the brothers decided that they would suppliment the monkeys diet with fruit, vegetables and sugar free pancakes. Seeing as these monkeys are purely leaf eaters normally you would think that they may not thrive on this diet but from what we saw they all looked very happy and healthy.
Upon our arrival at the platform we saw a small group of silver leaf monkeys patrolling the area where people stand looking for any stray beans. After a few moments there were various crashing noises coming towards us through the forest a slowly a trickle of proboscis monkeys started to arrive. We were told that there are 4 family groups and 4 bachelor groups in total in the area. 2 of each of the groups visit each platform. Within each family group there were about 6-8 females, 1 dominant male, 4 or 5 babies and a couple of juvinile males.
A large male came confidently striding up to where me and Ben were standing, our hearts started pounding as we immediately thought he was going to attack us but instead he just sat right in front of us and just stared at us, then someone passed him some food and he sat for ages just eating and posing for pictures, a cheeky female came to try to take some food but he slapped her round the face and she didnt seem inclined to want to try again, I cant imagine why! After a snap happy few hours or so with the proboscis monkeys we headed back along the boardwalk towards the bus and noticed something brightly coloured on the path in front of us. It turned out to be a flying snake and was absolutely stunning with bright red spots and a black and yellow body.