Silvered Langur Seen By NUS Student At Clementi Woods Park
Considering how much of a concrete jungle Singapore is, sightings of rare animals are usually received with enthusiasm by nature lovers.
So imagine the delight when news emerged of a never-seen-before species being spotted in Clementi Woods Park.
The animal in question was a silvered langur, seen by a lucky National University of Singapore (NUS) student.
The public is advised to keep their distance if they see it.
Student visited Clementi Woods Park on 5 Sep
In an Instagram post on 6 Sep, Mr Tony Ng said he was somewhere near Clementi Woods Park on the afternoon of 5 Sep.
Thus, he made a “last-minute decision” to visit the green space across the road from NUS College of Design and Engineering.
He said he was pleasantly surprised by the amount of wildlife he found there, given how small the park is.
Student hears grunting from silvered langur in Clementi Woods Park
While Mr Ng was walking along the path, he heard repeated “grunting noises” and thought they were coming from wild boars at first.
However, he didn’t expect to come face to face with a monkey sitting alone atop branches.
He decided to consult Google because he couldn’t identify it and hadn’t seen this species before.
It told him it was a Selangor Silvered Langur.
Clementi Park’s silvered langur never been sighted in Singapore
Managing to snap a few photos, Mr Ng remarked that the primate is found in West Malaysia but has never been sighted in Singapore.
Thus, he supposed that it escaped from somewhere or swam over.
The final-year medical student later told The Straits Times (ST) that he spent half an hour with the langur, and left it still “zoning out” on the tree.
He initially thought it was a Raffles’ banded langur native to Singapore. However, he realised that it didn’t look like one at all.
Silvered langur not native to S’pore
The silvered langur is not native to Singapore, according to Ecology Asia.
They are named for their dark grey fur, which takes on a silvery sheen in strong sunlight.
There are actually two species:
- trachypithecus cristatus, which can be found in Sumatra, Borneo and the Riau Islands
- trachypithecus selangorensis, which is from the west coast of Peninsular Malaysia
No records exist of either of these species being found in Singapore.
Scientists will search for langur this week
Dr Andie Ang, a primatologist from Mandai Nature, told ST that the primate likely came here as a stowaway on a ship or swam from Indonesia.
She ruled out him being an escaped pet since he’s an adult male who appears healthy.
This week, Dr Ang and scientists from the Raffles’ Banded Langur Working Group will search for the langur, hoping to collect his faeces.
This will tell them his genetic identity and help determine his origin.
She was also concerned that the langur’s presence would affect our local ecosystem, as it has a larger body size than the Raffles’ banded langur and might endanger them.
NParks warns public to keep a distance
In response to ST’s queries, the National Parks Board (NParks) said they’re aware of the sighting.
They added that they’ll work with nature groups to monitor and assess the langur’s behaviour.
They also cautioned that the silvered langur is shy and tends not to approach humans.
Thus, members of the public shouldn’t approach or feed him either.
Keeping a distance of at least 5m is recommended, and flash photography shouldn’t be used either, as it may scare him.
Tapir seen in Punggol days later
The silvered langur sighting comes days before a cyclist said he saw an endangered tapir in Punggol.
The animal was seen running at the Punggol Park Connector Network (PCN) on 10 Sep at about 6.25am.
It then made for the coast and swam off soon after.
Members of the public are encouraged to report wild animal sightings to ACRES through their hotline at 9783 7782 or send an email here.
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Featured image adapted from Tony Ng on Instagram.
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