Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Monkeying Around at Sisters' Island


This past Saturday, I joined Amy and others on a macaque mission. Her Fulbright project studies the population patterns of these monkeys through DNA analysis and GPS tracking, and on this day we were going for DNA via some saliva samples.

Don't be fooled - the monkeys are not the nicest fellas in the world. I was expecting more of a Curious George type who ran up to you to be petted and fed. False. These guys were just mean, and were only entertaining our company for the sugary swabs that we used to get their DNA. The alpha male had some especially threatening teeth and charged me twice, forcing me to scamper away.
On the prowl

The basic encounter would go like this - spot the monkey, throw the swabs at the monkey, let the monkey suck on the swab, give him/her a few more, monkey drops first swab, we pick up said swab. It got a bit more complicated when the first monkeys began to steal the swabs from their timid brethren. We got 10-15 in total, which was a pretty good haul according to our local monkey expert Amy.

The islands themselves are rather beautiful, and entirely abandoned. The cost of the boat ride is a bit steep, so it's not your typical tourist spot, but it would be quite a lovely spot to grill out, lay out, and just hang out. 

Okay, so the baby macaque was adorable
Beach on Big Sister's Island
Leaving Sisters' Island (Big Sister's on the left, Little Sister's on the right)
2013-14 Fulbright crew
CBD and Marina Bay Sands from the water


You can check out Amy's blog at http://twogirlsandsomemonkeys.tumblr.com/

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