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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.




Much more than just a great place to stay

"Thanks to our guide Avinka we had five great safaris staying four nights just after reopening this February. The staff made us feel so very welcome during the entire stay.

The safaries are just wonderful, and having a great guide in your vehicle makes a big difference. Avinka can spot animals you would never see and we were even lucky enough to sight leopards on the trees, close to our vehicle, and also running through the field. The wildlife is so exciting that you will have a great experience even if you don‘t see any leopards. We also had a great driver, which is essential if you drive through difficult territory. You are being taken care of the entire time, so even for those who do safaris for the first time, you will always feel safe.

The camp itself is very comfortable, you get everything you can think of, and on top of the great food being served with so much attention and friendliness. You also get wonderful vegetarian and vegan options. They put on bonfires at night, which makes it unforgettable.
When booking and making plans, you get great support from the headquarters, even if it gets difficult since you have to change your plans.
The best thing what can happen to you at the end of a vacation is when you are a bit sad to leave the place, having experienced something to remember forever, and the team does everything for this to happen. Thank you so much"

Axel S wrote, Traveled with family
January 2021

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