Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Say Hello to My Little Friend... The Philippine Tarsier - Bohol, Philippines

Once Sheila and I completed the Loboc River Cruise, we hired a motorbike driver to take us to the Philippine Tarsier sanctuary located just down the road.

A trip to Bohol wouldn't have been complete without seeing the tiny tarsiers. To face these fascinating little creatures eye to eye was one of the main reasons why I decided to travel to Bohol Island in the first place.

The Philippine Tarsier is one of the world’s smallest primates, about the size of my fist. Its enormous eyes can't move, but the tarsier has the ability to move its head 180 degrees. It’s nocturnal and eats insects and small lizards. A tarsier communicates with other tarsiers by making cute little chirping sounds. And when it’s not climbing trees it hops along the ground like a furry frog. I was lucky enough to see one of these furry frog impersonations shortly after we entered the sanctuary, and just before it found another tree to climb.

I thought the Philippine Tarsier was strictly indigenous to Bohol Island but, in actuality, they’re also found in Samar Island, Leyte Island and Mindanao.

An employee manning one of the large cages said, that the sanctuary leaves its cages open at night, allowing the tarsiers to wander off and hunt but that the tarsiers return during the day. He also said, that tarsiers are known to be suicidal - apparently, it will repeatedly bang its head against something - if caged in small confinements for long periods of time, or if they’re stressed. But I’m not certain if that's true or not. It would be interesting if it was, though.

Seeing the Philippine Tarsier was an amazing, eye-opening experience.

*Admission to the sanctuary is free.


Next Stop: The Chocolate Hills – Bohol, Philippines

1 comment:

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