Old World Monkey Politics and casual placenta-eating dominance

Wilpattu National Park 

Fun Facts

Though the stereotypical monkey is known to be playful and mischievous, these primates take their caste system quite seriously! Toque macaques are born into their caste, and leaving the troop is the only way a male can rise to the top of the monkey world. However, if he has good social skills (much like human politicians), and is strong (much like human politicians on steroids), he may become an alpha male. Alpha females are a little more hardcore, where shortly after a female in their troop gives birth, the alpha asserts her power by eating part of the placenta!

Did you know?

The Toque macaque is an ‘Old World Monkey’ endemic to Sri Lanka. Similar to cartoon monkeys gobbling up food, cheek pouches enable them to store enough food while eating fast! Especially fond of stealing food from humans, they eat pineapples, rice grains, papayas, mangoes, and even small mammals like the Indian Palm Squirrel and the Asiatic long-tailed climbing mouse!

  1. Dry-zone toque macaques – also known as the common toque macaque and colloquially called the temple monkey – live in Vavuniya, Mannar, up to the lowlands of Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Puttalam, and Kurunegala, along the arid zone of Monaragala, Kataragama and Hambantota districts.

  1. Wet-zone toque macaques – also known as pale-fronted toque macaques or dusky toque macaques  – live in Kegalle to parts of Kurunegala. They are also found in Galle and Matara districts near Kalu Ganga.

  1. Highland toque macaques – also known as hill-zone toque macaques or mountain toque macaques – live in Nuwara Eliya, Hakgala Botanical Gardens and other cold montane forest patches, as well as in Trincomalee near the Koneswaram Temple.



Amazing experience - great company values

We had a wonderful stay at yala camp - great accommodation / food / safari. The staff were all outstanding - all full of passion for their role to make sure we had an unforgettable experience and absolutely committed to providing an ethical product. This company provides a perfect safari experience - no plastics / sustainable / local produce / knowledgeable committed staff. An honour to be a guest and support them."

J K wrote, Traveled as a couple
December 2019

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