Posted by: hoz49 | March 8, 2008

The Tarsiers of Loboc

After the Riverboat Cruise we traveled to a Tarsier display on the banks of the Loboc River. The Tarsier is an endangered species that once inhabited all the rainforests but now can be found only on a few islands in the Philippines, Borneo and Indonesia. I can remember when I was a kid you could buy one through mail order to keep as a pet. Today these small mammals are protected by Philippine law and may be displayed only by special permit.

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The Tarsier is nocturnal and has large fixed eyes. They seem to be staring at you with an alien gaze. Since their eyes do not move a Tarsier can swivel it’s head 180 degrees. They have acute hearing and their ears are always moving. They eat bugs and are thought to help keep the insect population in check when in the wild.

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They are cute little things, small enough to fit in the palm of your hand, and a few of the tourists even held one for pictures but I took a pass. Many years ago my brother Mario’s girlfriend was visiting the Philippines on a mission and was bitten by a Tarsier suspected of having rabies. Either there was no vaccine available or they did not trust local care but she was evacuated back to the US for treatment. I didn’t want to take a chance of ruining our trip!

Here is a page of Tarsiers.

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Responses

  1. aww they’re so ugly they’re cute!


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