The phrase “Long-tailed Macaque” is what attracted me to this talk show. A primate known to many is a sight I frequently saw around residential estates and I was pulled to learn more about such a fascinating animal.
I always wondered how they were able to peacefully coexist in such large groups whenever they walk around. Turns out they have a social hierarchy within each group dictating who is the leader of the group which brings about order. Moreover, I learnt about the method of monkey guarding which entails people being positioned at locations where the primates enter the residential boundary and thus coercing them to change the path they take as a group. This made me realise that humans and primates can peacefully coexist given the adoption of harmless measures that do not negatively affect either group such as monkey guarding and that we need to be more conscious of our actions as we may unconsciously bring harm to such animals. This brings me to me next learning point about the No Feeding Campaign and what Jane Goodall Institute (Singapore) does to improve the situation in Singapore. I was not previously aware of the different measures and initiatives are undertaken by them to help the primates in Singapore by taking on a multi-faceted approach to increasing awareness among the locals and protecting the primates from possible harm.
The first time I remember seeing them was at Bukit Timah when I was walking to my friend’s house after school to study. I was agitated as I did not know what to do then. However, my friend told me to just continue moving as it was a common occurrence there. Fortunately, I had my friend next to me. Nevertheless, the issue of the lack of awareness and human curiosity may bring about conflict between humans and creatures and is something that will neither be rectified overnight nor completely eradicated yet can idealised and worked towards. So everyone could adopt the mindset that they also can play a part by not only adopting the correct attitude but also informing others when they see them disturbing the primates or doing something harmful. This way we are one step closer to our paradigm of a society that coexists peacefully with primates.