Long-tailed Macaques

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We had a grand time riding around Pulau Ubin, an island off the coast of Singapore near the Changi airport. We rented bikes for the day and encountered numerous troops of long-tailed macaques (Macaca fascicularis). They are native to Singapore, Malaysia, Borneo, Thailand, etc, but due to their ability to live with humans, their range has expanded greatly to many islands in the Pacific and Asia and are now a nuisance in many areas. They eat crops, spread diseases and drive out native species.

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They are aggressive and one jumped on the basket of my bicycle to get at my bag. This must be a learned behavior as tourists usually carry food in the baskets. The long-tailed macaques have a long history living alongside humans in Asia because they prefer disturbed habitats . They are regarded as sacred in some Hindu temples. They really made our day today and I hope the population numbers can be controlled on the small island.

 

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