Most Gentle Monkeys



When I came to Asia for the first time, I fell in love with macaques – they are so smart and funny... I've watched them for a long time in India, Nepal, Thailand, and Malaysia, and this is how I learned they are also aggressive and destructive sons of bitches 😄 Langurs are much nicer. And the loveliest of all langurs are spectacled ones (Trachypithecus obscurus).

On the coast of Thailand and Malaysia, they live on limestone mountains covered with jungles untouched by civilization because neither rubber trees nor oil palms and rice can grow on rocks - none of those three plants bald apes (the humans) worship.

But the spectacled langurs are not angry about this, they seem to be never angry. Probably because they have another weapon - their cuteness. So, as soon as they come to humans for fruits and snacks, humans immediately give up and feed their tailed bros from the jungle.

Actually, such feeding often turns animals into a crowd of degraded forest bums. I saw such macaques in mountains in Western Ghats, India. They hung out on the side of the road waiting for people to throw snacks from the windows of passing cars. 🙁

I have visited two places with spectacled langurs and I have never seen such scenes. They come to get puffed corn or bananas and, then, leave back to the jungle to have a feast on the tropical foliage - probably, they have delicacies there that you can't buy at 7-Eleven. 😄

When they take food from your palm, they never scratch you, they never grab and jerk anything. They carefully take food with their human fingers, slightly tickling your palm skin with their cute nails - I loved this feeling.

It is not only their appearance that is impressive but also the delicacy of their behavior. If one day they decide to come out of the forest and take the place near cats, people will immediately agree to this, and cats perhaps, too. 😺

They Rode Me!

It was at the far corner of a Thai military base adjacent to a 191-meter-tall limestone mountain, the home of the spectacled langurs. Visitors (few) were asked to show their passports at a block post to get to the place where the langurs appeared from time to time. I cycled there regularly during my 3-month stay at that area.

After I had several visits to the spot, two langurs decided to ride me, and I loved how delicate they were in doing this! 😄 One of them showed me she wanted to climb down the branches and there obviously was no destination below except me. She was looking into my eyes with hesitation. I confirmed I was ready to be her elephant. So she slid down the branches and calmly took a seat on my shoulders. Another langur sent the same message to me and I accepted one more passenger. I walked around the place with two monkeys on me and, when I got tired of their weight, I squatted down in the hope my friends would understand that the trip ended. As soon as I squatted, they politely climbed down of me onto the ground and returned to the tree. I was amazed and absolutely happy.

One of My Langur Images Was Published in BBC Wildlife Magazine

All bnw images in this post are published on the Internet for the first time. However, some other langur images of mine, not presented in this post, were uploaded to photo stocks and made some number of sales, and one of them has been published in BBC Wildlife Magazine August 2019. So gentle monkeys truly paid me for that ride. 😎

This post was written specially for Deranged Photography Contest, Wildlife Theme. The images were taken by me with a Nikkor 85mm f/1.8G on a Nikon D750.

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