Friday, February 01, 2008

Kuala Selangor Travels - Monkey Business

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Flickr went ahead last week to visit Kuala Selangor. I've heard so much about this town and have been dying for ages to visit it and finally got the chance. Travelling through the oil palm plantations of Ijok and Jeram, heading down to the historic Kota Melawati, riding through the flatlands of paddy at Tanjung Karang and finally stopping at Pasir Penambang for seafood and a fishing village, it does seem that Kuala Selangor has all. The only thing we miss was the fireflies but heard that nowadays there was not much to see anyway.

The first stop brought us to Kota Melawati of which we took a RM2 train ride up the hill passed such suspicious attractions as the poisoned well (telaga racun) and batu hampar (where the japanese were said to decapitate their prisoners). The main attraction that people often associate the area with is the silverback macaques of which I've to admit I was a bit apprehensive at how 'friendly' monkeys can get after several bad experiences with simians especially when food is involved.

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The community of monkeys there are not so like their more feral cousins and does have some modicum of behaviour in the presence of humans, its not to say that they are afraid of you or are hostile, more like they seen so many people that they just don't care. I was utterly surprised to be able to get as near as several cm to the apes and not have them react aggressively. They were everywhere, hanging from the trees, sitting on the embankments, lying under the trees but mostly standing near people in the hopes of getting food. Several food sellers there offer small packets of vegetables that the monkeys like but some inconsiderate people actually hand the monkeys junk food which is bad for their system. Its a poor sight to see a monkey eating twisties which they were never meant to have ever.

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Kazzie had a little scare when an over eager ape tried to climb on her and clung to her shirts without letting go until she handed over her prize of greens which he then took and left. Prakash was the most reluctant to be near them and was keeping a good distance training his 200m lens from afar, as he described it a long standing phobia from an unfortunate event. The best and most attractive part of these monkeys is that the newborn babies are of a golden sheen apart from their grey and black parent's coat. The group seems very sociable and the mothers guard their young charge diligently, often having to discipline their overactive charge with a little spanking to put them in their place, which is naturally clinging with all four onto their mothers as she goes from place to place.

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Sadly it seems that their time may come soon enough. A change in the law recently rescinded their protected status claiming their numbers are too large and are causing a nuisance to their human neighbours whom I thought were the ones to have taken over our simian cousin's natural habitat in the first place. Hopefully these monkey will still be here for long to come, delighting visitors who deign to visit the area.

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The full photo gallery for the trip can be found HERE.

1 comment:

Jenabi~ said...

Nice photo ! .. wow those 2 monkey still pose for u !!