Thursday, July 8, 2010

Wild Wednesdays; Monkeying down Old Upper Thomson Road

I've blogged before about our trips down to Old Upper Thomson Road, but I've never gone into the details.    Basically, part of this road winds through a forested area, and its a common sight in the evenings to see single cars stopped along the side of the road, with the windows wound down.  Most of these cars usually contain families, with kids, and all of them stop for the same reason: Macaques.  Loads of them.  Bouncing through the trees, checking out each car, fighting, romping around.  

For those staying around the area, a slow drive down there in the evening after work can be quite fun for the kids, since driving through the area makes you feel like you are no longer living in an urban jungle: Cicadas whining away, the lush greenery, and sometimes, if you go earlier in the morning or after a heavy shower, the mist.

Oh, and the monkeys!  The kids are always fascinated by these furry creatures, but mind you, these are bold and fierce fellows that can bite.  So steer your little fellows clear of them, however interested the kids may be...

More information on this monkey menagerie:

1.  Don't feed them, no matter how cute or hungry they look.  (Read this to learn about why you shouldn't!)  And since the macaques have learnt to associate plastic bags with food, do refrain from holding any of these bags if you happen to be near them, and of course, don't tempt them by eating around them!

2.  Monkeys sometimes are culled here because they wander out of their natural habitats and become aggressive.  Again, this is partially due to people feeding them, thinking they are doing them some good. (And if that's not enough a deterrent, NParks imposes a fine on people caught feeding monkeys!)

3. They are omnivorous, and feed on fruits, leaves, shoots, and small animals like small reptiles and spiders.  (And with all that natural good stuff around, they really don't need your wheat bread or biscuits.)

4. They are social animals, and form a troop of 15-30 individuals, consisting of an alpha male, his harem of females and offspring, plus sometimes a few other males.

5. Look out for various activities that these furry creatures engage in, such as feeding, playing (especially with the younger ones), and grooming.  Grooming to them is akin to couples going on dates: It strengthens social bonds. (And in fact, a study shows that some males even use this to get sex from the females.  Though that may not be a fact you'd want to disclose to the kids!)

For more information on macaques in Singapore, you can visit this site.  Or for the kids, here's a useful graphic I scanned off a postcard:

Taken off a Zo Card that I picked up recently.  Done by the RGS Monkey Business team.
Happy monkeying around! :)


  1. so THAT's what the postcard was about.

    I found it cute but I never really read it o_O

    and this from the article cracked me up:

    How can I save the monkeys?
    Leave them alone.

    thank you for sharing (:

  2. Those monkeys sure don't look friendly! The last picture looks like the two monkeys were scratching each other. You've compiled a great list about monkeys. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Sounds like a dream place to be able to go. And oh, those monkeys! Thanks for sharing!

  4. I always love going there with my girls...and yes, I do refrain from feeding them, although sometimes when you see the types of food the cars are throwing out to them, it is amazing! Thanks for the educational information on macaques..I like the part about bonding ;)

  5. u r great blogger to all the parents!!! besides introducing a place, you have educational info and guidance (warnings too... keke)... im going to stalk yr blog more. have a good sunday :)

  6. Nadine: Haha yes! I didn't get it also at first, not until I flipped to the back and read some small print at the bottom, heh. And heeee, that part was funny! ;)

    RoseBelle: Yup they can be rather aggressive at times! They were grooming in the last picture. :)

    Debi: :) Those monkeys really are quite interesting to watch!

    The beauties in our lives: Oh, so we might have passed you when we were there! Yes, some people still don't seem to get it, and ignore all the "do not feed the monkey" signs. :(

    Shaggyfish: Heeee, thanks for visiting! Hope you had a great weekend!

  7. Most people do what they want without thinking of the consequences. Once I saw some people fishing in the mangrove area right next to the no fishing sign!

    Love the fun facts of the Macaques :)

  8. I like the ZO card. Cute and creative.

  9. Eileen: Ack! I know what you mean... they just don't bother do they!

    Cendrine: :) It is cute ya?



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