Let’s Get Down to (Monkey) Business – Indian Monkeys
You don’t have to go far to find monkeys in India – in fact, in most places you will have to be careful to keep your belongings close to you when out and about so that an inquisitive macaque doesn’t get tempted to seize your valuables to take home with him!
Most monkeys in India fall into two families – macaques and langurs. Macaques have long faces and tawny fur and they’re an adventurous bunch: lion-tailed macaques can be great swimmers and rhesus macaques have even been launched into space – most famously Able, who returned from his flight safely in 1959. Meanwhile, langurs have dark faces, and lighter fur and they tend to have the expression of grumpy but wise old men. Their long tails enable them to jump between treetops and gather food for their herbivorous diet.
Year-round, it is common to see infants hanging on to their mother’s necks as they scamper around looking for food or fun.
A primate that you might be less familiar with is the slender loris: a slow-moving nocturnal animal that lives primarily in treetops. With its huge concerned eyes and soft fur, the slender loris looks like something out of a Miyazaki animation, so you won’t forget your sighting of them in a hurry.
You’re most likely to spot these (unfortunately endangered) creatures while trekking in the Southeastern Ghats but remember to move slowly and quietly because they can be frightened easily and they don’t like bright lights – so no flash photography please!