Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Close Encounter 2 @ K.Selangor - 20 Oct 2012

We stopped by Malawati Hill which was near to Kuala Selangor Nature Park to take a look at the silver leaf monkeys. We have to take a tram to go up the hill (on weekends and public holidays only). Even at the waiting area for the tram, we saw those silver leaf monkeys mingling freely with the visitors. 

A bit of local history on Malawati Hill.  A fort was built for defence on the hill, facing the Strait of Malacca and has a commanding view of the mangroves below and further out, the coastline and open sea. Not much was left of the fort today, except for some foundation stones and walls, a lighthouse, the famous seven wells and Dutch made cannons after its invasion. The environment was nice with many old and big rain trees dotting the hill.

The silvery monkeys have punk hair style, their babies have orange fur but after about 4 months, the fur will change to silvery grey like the others. 

The locals claimed that these monkeys were safe to play with and "friendly" - they would help themselves to your bags and climb all over you for food. They're very sharp and it's easy to lure them with food. There're many vendors around selling food for the monkeys. If you have nothing in hands and no bags, then these monkeys would ignore you. Watch out for the other common species - the long tailed macaques cos these were more aggressive and not to be provoked.

Starting to warm up......... at first the boys stayed a distance from the monkeys but it's hard not to get close cos they're lovable (if not too many of them)

Without warning, one of them hopped on to Wei..... but he stayed very calm. Would be a different ending if it climbed on me!

Monkeys in the silhouette

Nathan, one of the pioneer vendors in Malawati Hill. He's very friendly and not pushy like most vendors there. He told us there were more than 800 silver leaf monkeys on the hill. They love to eat - anything - but most vendors have bundles of long beans for them. Next to the food, we noticed that most of the vendors placed toys like lion, tiger or snake to scare away the silver leaf monkeys. Without these toys, the monkeys would snatch the food away. We tried this on the monkeys and it really worked!! Guess these monkeys were not as smart as we thought...

To the visitors, all the monkeys looked alike. But Nathan could tell each monkey by its face. Tis were some of his favourite companions and he's very generous to feed them with food too. At his command, some of these monkeys which he called by names, would perform some tricks. There was this only monkey who could kiss his face and bite his finger. Another one who was not afraid of the toys that were meant to scare them away, and was even willing to kiss the toy lion or snake. And my favourite was 'Motorbike' (bottom far right pix) - that it would only sit on the sidestand of the bike and would refuse anything less than a bundle of long beans.

Thanks to these monkeys - the kids really had a good time with them.

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