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Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary

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Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary offers a chance to see the action monkeys of Borneo up close.

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Proboscis monkeys are endemic to this island, and unfortunately on the endangered list. The orange and white-coated primates are one of the largest species in Asia — males can grow to 30 kilos and 75 centimetres tall, females are considerably smaller. Their most prominent feature is the huge schnoz on the male—it can be up to 10 centimetres in length, hanging down over his mouth. Female noses are smaller, but still big for a monkey. Both have bulging pot-bellies, and the males have a permanently erect red penis — hello mister!

It's real. Photo taken in or around Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary, Sandakan, Malaysia by Sally Arnold.

It's real. Photo: Sally Arnold

Lowland mangrove and riverine forests are their stomping ground and webbed feet help them out in this environment, but you’ll mostly see them leaping great distances from tree to tree. They hang out in large groups, usually with one dominant male, several females and their offspring, and to the side you’ll often see a group of “bachelor males” angling to get in on the action.

Now back to the endangered bit, the major reason for their decline is loss of habitat due predominantly to clearing of forests to plant palm oil. The owner of Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary is a palm oil plantation owner. The story goes, that in 1994, he was in the process of land clearing to expand his empire and came across several troupes of proboscis monkeys living there. Curious, he learnt more about their plight and changed his plans so they could continue to survive in their natural habitat. As their food sources had dwindled due to drought, they supplemented the monkeys diet with fruit and water. And thus began Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey ... Travelfish members only (Around 400 more words) ... please log in to read the rest of this story.

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How to get there
Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary is 50 kilometres from Sandakan, and 23 kilometres from Sepilok. A shuttle bus runs from Hotel Sandakan (09:30) to the sanctuary via Sepilok Orangutang Rehabilitation Centre (10:30). The return schedule departs Nipah Lodge near Labuk Bay at 15:00 and 17:00. The shuttle is 20 ringgit one way.

A taxi from Sandakan is 80 ringgit one way or 160 ringgit return including waiting time. A taxi from Sandakan, continuing to Sepilok and return including waiting time at both is 180 ringgit.

Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary
38 km from Sandakan
T: (88) 317 316
Admission: Adult/child: 60/30 ringgit. Camera fee: 10 ringgit.

Location map for Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary

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