Sunday, January 17, 2010

Ugly Side of Langkawi Mangrove Tours Part II - How to Make Monkeys Swim

I mentioned in the first part of this topic, mangrove excursions here are so popular that operators would do anything to earn more even to the extend of exploiting the wildlife.
Long-Tailed Macaques (Macaca fascicularis) are common predators in our mangroves. They are sociable mammals, comical and at times can be quite aggressive. These monkeys move in groups as they forage in the mangroves for young seedlings, mangroves vegetation, crabs and snails. In the mangroves, hunting time for such animals very often depends on the tide condition. Macaques are mostly active searching for food during low tides where they are able to reach further to the mudflats and hunt for their favourite crustaceans.

Most people love monkeys particularly the tourists. It is very common that they would ask to see these cute primates prior to hopping onto such nature excursions.

Macaques usually move about in the mangroves in search of food. There are days when they are around and there are days that they are not.  Therefore, to please these tourists, the unethical operators/guides have resorted to unhealthy practice of feeding the macaques to ensure that they are always around in the same area.

Here is the exciting part. MACAQUES CAN SWIM! “What? Are you sure? How?” a tourist asked in disbelief.
The unethical operators/guides would demonstrate how you can make macaques swim. Chuck the food in the water and see what they will do. 
In addition, here is their "bullying" way to see the macaques swim for a distance. Invite one or two on your boat by luring them with food.
Then the boat will move away from the shore for a distance. Then you can force it to jump into the water like a pirate pushing the victim off the ship. 
Man Overboard! or "Macaque Overboard"!
You can be one of the merciless spectators enjoying the act of the macaque dog paddling to the shore. And while you are at it, you might as well video the whole scene too!
What a cunning way to earn more tips from the tourists! The monkeys get a dunking to get some food, the tourists are happy and the unethical operators or guides are surely happy and spurred to keep up this ruthless practice to pocket extra ringgits.


  1. Wow ! WChinner!
    I know how much You would like these practices to come to an end.
    I hope your blog will expand fast enough to make people aware of the consequences of their behaviour.
    I recently read that Langkawi will host the 4th GeoPark Conference this year.
    Though economic development is a boon for local populations, there are ways, certainly, to make this development contribute to education and awareness.
    I am finishing this article about Langkawi.
    I have to deliver it quite soon now.
    Together with several images, that I will send You as well.
    I hope I will be back there and discover more with You.
    Be well.

  2. Thank you Francois for your info.
    4th Geopark conference will be held on the island from April 12-16.


    Since you mentioned this, something has struck my mind. Now i start to wonder why our Minister of Tourism, Dr Ng Yen Yen has been so diligent in coming over to the island and spoke strongly about needed to protect the island.

    Langkawi needs as much help as possible especially educating the locals here and as well as the tourists. People like you can help by spreading as much as possible.

    Looking forward to read your article!! and yes, another exploration we shall!

  3. Eagle feeding, monkey swimming, next is crab fighting.. follow by monkey attacking tourists to get back at them for making them swim..

  4. Hi Itch Is Back!
    Ha,ha,ha.. I'm wishing for that to happen. Tourists attacked by monkeys on board while feeding them.
    Today we observed a macaque biting and chewing a piece of squid.

  5. A German commented that the earlier version of this blog was read as seem as I'm encouraging this act. Thanks for your comment, German guy.

    Well, I wanted to be sarcastic but because i'm still learning the ropes to be a sarcastic person, this blog didn't achieve the purpose.

    Thank you to Mandy for her suggestions to rephrase on certain paragraphs. I hope that this blog will support my view to disapprove this act.

  6. Hi WChinner, you've a good post there! I was wondering who's really the monkeys in the pictures....the macaques or humans?

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