Save the Proboscis Monkey

 Female Juvenile Proboscis Monkey ©Jan van der Meer

Redt de Neusaap
Nasalus Larvatus
Malay people call him the "Orang Belanda"
'the Dutchman' or 'Flying Dutchman'
in Indonesia known as " Bekantan"
the Biggest  Nose in Borneo
in Dutch: "Neusaap"

by Jan van der Meer
( Orang Belanda )




Our new Ambassadors ?

"Please help us to get Parish Hilton and Gerard Depardieu to be our
new international Proboscis Monkey Ambassadors!"



Big Nose Meeting June 2007
Orang Jan (Belanda) meets Orang Kristina (Italy)
making plans to save the Proboscis Monkey

 ©Jan van der Meer


This is Kristina Medicine (Italy), founder and
the Orang Belanda (Holland): Jan van der Meer www.Global-DVC.Org 

There’s not much time to talk, we must THINK QUICK, our Proboscis Monkeys are disappearing fast,
the number of them is now a few thousands, and we underline they can only live in Borneo.

We need a sponsor: a famous actress, actor, pop star who can be our “patron” and give money and help, or just talk on a tv show about the monkeys…or just put on this t-shirt during a concert. People don’t follow me or you, they follow pop stars and movie or tv celebs. Save the Proboscis Monkey (...and all others on the long list of endangered animals)

Let’s think together, let’s think fast.

Maybe you know Gerard Depardieu in person or a Rolling Stone or a multinational’s manager, can't say Michael Jackson has the proper nose for it, but maybe you know somebody who has the personal email of somebody who can actually boost this project. Anybody popular. This is not being superficial, understand me, it’s marketing!

We have to advertise this beautiful endangered animal, it is still too unknown. This makes us so sad: to dye in silence, our Orang Belanda is disappearing and billions of people just won’t notice!

Extinction means death forever

Are you interested in helping us to save the Proboscis Monkey?

Please let us know and help us.
We also can arrange
Perfect Proboscis Monkey Safaris. Photo's, Video's & Sounds.
mail: HDV (3) LIVE.NL   (3=@)




Malaysia to increase bio-fuel use

Malaysia hopes to increase its use of palm oil as fuel Malaysia has announced plans to switch from using diesel oil to a part bio-fuel alternative.  Commodities Minister Peter Chin said laws were being drafted to make the use of such fuel compulsory by 2008. Negotiations have begun with petroleum companies, to persuade them to produce fuel using both mineral and vegetable oils, the government has revealed. The government favours fuel from 19 parts diesel to one part palm oil, and says engines do not need modification. However, environmentalists are likely to have mixed feelings about the move. While it marks a shift away from fossil fuels, it could cause other problems.
Search for alternatives

As demand for oil rises and reserves dwindle, countries like Malaysia are looking for alternatives, according to the BBC correspondent in Kuala Lumpur Jonathan Kent. Palm oil is made from the fruit of the oil palm, and Malaysia is the world's largest producer.
Last month, Malaysia announced a joint venture with private partners to build three plants that will make the new fuel for export to Europe. The switch to alternative courses of fuel is not all good news for environmental campaigners.
Malaysia has lost much of its ancient rainforest to palm oil plantations, and Malaysian companies are thought to be behind moves to expand palm oil production in Indonesia.

Conservation groups say that could worsen the destruction of forests on the islands of Sumatra and Borneo, and speed the extinction of species like the orang-utan and our PROBOSCIS MONKEY who can only survive in Borneo and nowhere else in this world.


Maleisië zet in op palmolie voor biodiesel 
en wat zijn de gevolgen voor onze Proboscis Monkey en andere dieren?

Maleisië, wereldwijd de grootste producent van palmolie, gaat die plantaardige olie gebruiken om schonere brandstof te maken. Zo'n 2 tot 5 procent van de diesel moet op korte termijn uit palmoliemengsel bestaan.


Van de palmolie die in Maleisië wordt geproduceerd, komt 80 procent terecht in voedsel; koeken, margarine, soep en dergelijke. Volgens minister Chin van Industrie en Goederen maken de hoge olieprijzen en onzekere voorraden aan petroleum het commercieel aantrekkelijk om een deel van de plantaardige olie commercieel te gaan gebruiken voor de productie van biobrandstof.


Chin wil volgens persbureau Reuters wettelijk vastleggen dat diesel in de toekomst tenminste 2 tot 5 procent palm diesel bevat. Palmdiesel ontstaat door methanol aan de palmolie toe te voegen waardoor de glycerine eruit wordt verwijderd. Het eindproduct lijkt op gewone diesel en kan puur worden gebruikt, of worden bijgemengd in gewone diesel.

Plannen voor een grote fabriek die elke maand zo'n 5000 ton palmdiesel voor de export moet gaan produceren, zijn in een vergevorderd stadium. Chin erkent tegenover Reuters dat zijn plannen nog wel moeten worden goedgekeurd door het kabinet en het parlement.


De productie van palmolie is overigens bepaald geen groene bedrijfstak. Grote stukken regenwoud worden gekapt om plaats te maken voor enorme palmolieplantages. Organisaties die zich inzetten voor bescherming van het regenwoud en van bedreigde diersoorten, zoals de orang-oetan, lopen tegen de palmolieproductie te hoop.


De interesse voor biobrandstoffen groeit sinds landen door het Verdrag van Kyoto verplicht zijn de uitstoot van broeikasgassen zoals koolstofdioxide (CO2)  terug te dringen. Verbranding van fossiele brandstoffen is een van de grootste veroorzakers van die broeikasgassen. De productie van biobrandstof, die vooral in Noord-Amerika en Europa plaatsheeft, verviervoudigde tussen 1996 en 2002 tot zo'n 2 miljoen ton per jaar. Van de wereldwijde productie komt 84 procent van de plantaardige olie uit koolzaad en13 procent van zonnebloemen. Palmolie en sojabonenolie hebben nog een zeer gering aandeel. Ook de uit suikerbieten afgeleide bio-ethanol is een alternatief dat in opkomst is. Voor de palmdiesel uit Maleisië hebben volgens regeringsvertegenwoordigers Japan en Duitsland al interesse getoond.


De eurocommissaris voor Landbouw, Fischer Boel, riep de lidstaten eind mei op meer te investeren in de productie van biobrandstoffen. Fischer Boel stelde eerder dat in 2010 5,75 van de brandstof van hernieuwbare herkomst zou moeten zijn. De lidstaten zijn niet enthousiast; de Europese ministers van Financiën zien een voorgestelde accijnskorting op biobrandstoffen niet zitten.  De Nederlandse regering wil dat vanaf 2006 bij de eerste pompen in ons land biobrandstoffen te tanken zijn. Maar hoe dat precies gaat gebeuren en vanaf welke datum, is nog de vraag. Daarover moet het kabinet dit jaar een besluit nemen. Zoals het nu ernaar uitziet, haalt Nederland de Europese doelstelling in 2010 niet. In sommige andere lidstaten is al wel volop biobrandstof te verkrijgen.


WWF official Proboscis Monkey Information


Look at this Proboscis Monkey Clip

Another Borneo ape to be lost.




We support the good work of the WWF but what they do in order to save Proboscis Monkey
we hope to hear from them soon. Enclosed their recent info:

Distribution, habitat and behaviour

  • Endemic to Borneo. Can be found along the coastal areas, mangrove swamps and riverine forests of Borneo.
  • In 1977, there were about 6400 of them in Sarawak, but now there are only about 1000 in Sarawak, with perhaps another 2000 in Sabah and 4000 in Kalimantan. Some populations along the west coast of Sabah have disappeared entirely.

The only known reserves to have a sustained and secure proboscis population are Tanjung Puting
and possibly Mount Palung National Park in Kalimantan.

Description and natural history

  • A very bizarre-looking primate, the tree-dwelling proboscis monkey gets its name from its huge pendulous nose. The nose overhangs the mouth and the monkey has to push it aside in order to eat. The female has a shorter and more snubby version.
  • They have pot bellies and are very noisy primates with their strange honking sounds.
  • Only primate species adapted for swimming with some webbing between its fingers. They are proficient swimmers, moving quietly (so as not to attract its natural predator, the crocodile) using a form of dog paddle, and like to dive off a tree branch high above the water, sometimes with babies clinging to their mothers’ fur.
  • The male averages 24kg in weight, twice as much as the female. Hence it tends to move more carefully than the females or younger males do.
  • Adults have an orangey red coat, greyish on their bottom half, and a long thick white tail. Newborns have deep blue faces with upturned noses, but assume adult colouring when they are about nine months old.

Lives on a special diet of leaves, flowers and seeds of vegetation found only in riverine, peat swamps


  • Now listed as an endangered species, their long-term survival is dependent on protection given by gazetted parks and wildlife sanctuaries such as the proposed Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary, an important wetland in Sabah.
  • Enforce protection, institute strict regulations on land use of wetlands and pollution management to minimise environmental damage to the specie’s natural habitats.



by Jan van der Meer Holland
(the Dutch “Orang Belanda”)
Start reading this weblog from the bottum!

Wednesday 23 march 2006


No this is not the end of our long story and personal contribution in helping to save the amazing Proboscis Monkey.

If any publisher wants an article, book or story after reading this blog or need photo’s or stock shots for broadcast use
we’ll be pleased to help with our HDV footage, WAV sound files and our personal Proboscis Monkey aka Orang Belanda experiences.

Anyway we hope you will regularly visit this site for new updates and info. We will continue trying to save the Proboscis Monkey and urging Malay Government to stop destroying their natural habitat.  They have to restore the rainforest at many places where they already have gone too far. If they oil palm-spoil SABA any longer no tourist will come anymore.


According to deputy tourism Minister Datuk Donald Lim Siang Chai it is very important to create Malaysia as a tourist-friendly destination. He aims to attract 20 million tourists in 2007. We hope this Government realizes that in that case they have to promise to preserve the original environment their nature and habitat of all animals. Also educate Sabah inhabitants to keep their country clean: stop littering rubbish!

As tourist we would also like to see immediate action and ask them to stop exploit all of their beautiful jungle. It would be a great idea also to let all Sabahians to realise they have to be very careful with nature and don’t litter al their rubbish in the sea and on land. Everywhere we were plastics destroy a clean view. Plastic will not break of in 100 years. Animals and fish can die because of that. Even on Mabul and Sipadan Island the fish are swimming in between plastic bags, rags and bottles. In Sandakan harbour in between the houses build on water, we even saw several dead rats in enormous litter hills on the water.  Also for us European tourists this is unacceptable view (not nice on photo’s) and certainly not tourism friendly.

According to dep. tourism Minister Datuk Donald Lim Siang Chai it is very important to create Malaysia as a tourist-friendly destination. He aims to attract 20 million tourists in 2007. We hope this Government realizes that in that case they have to promise to preserve the original environment their nature and habitat of all animals. Also educate Sabah inhabitants to keep their country clean: stop littering rubbish! As tourist we would also like to see immediate action and ask them to stop exploit all of their beautiful jungle. It would be a great idea also to let all Sabahians to realise they have to be very careful with nature and don’t litter al their rubbish in the sea and on land. Everywhere we were plastics destroy a clean view. Plastic will not break of in 100 years. Animals and fish can die because of that.

on Mabul and Sipadan Island the fish are swimming sometimes between plastic bags, rags and bottles. In Sandakan harbour in between the houses build on water, we even saw several dead rats in enormous litter hills on the water.  Also for us European tourists this is unacceptable view (not nice on photo’s) and certainly not tourism friendly.

A national campaign; KEEP MALAYSIA CLEAN would be very appropriate at this moment in 2006.
Fines on littering (like in Singapore) would be a great idea.




 ©Jan van der Meer


We loved and think our visits to the few Proboscis Hot Spots left,
was worthwhile.  

Great to get this blog opportunity on 
Thanks to Kristina Medici, admire her work and blog help!

Anyone please feel free to react on these articles or expose your additive opions.
CC to
studio...( for our new mailadres please see header on our new site ) (...=@)

We loved and think our visits to the few Proboscis Hot Spots left, was worthwhile.  Great to get this blog opportunity on  Thanks to Kristina Medici, admire her work and blog help!   Anyone please feel free to react on these articles or expose your additive opions.CC to 

We loved and think our visits to the few Proboscis Hot Spots left, was worthwhile.  Great to get this blog opportunity on  Thanks to Kristina Medici and Enrico Gallingani (webmaster), admire your work and blog help!   Anyone please feel free to react on these articles or expose your additive opinions. CC to We soon might produce a DVD with footage, pictures and sounds.
We even might organize special Proboscis Monkey Tours if you are also interested.




Are you interested in publishing our copyright stories photo video & sound recordings?
Please have contact with;

Wildlife author and photographer:
Jan van der Meer (the Orang Belanda)
Zandvoort The Netherlands

founder http://www.( for our new mailadres please see header on our new site )/
Dutch weblog
studio...( for our new mailadres please see header on our new site ) (...=@)

Also contact us for Merchandising articles
like this Lucky Laki Proboscis Monkey toy and many others from Malaysia.

How many change to see Proboscis Monkey and others?

Tuesday 21 march 2006

Changes to see Proboscis Monkey at Menanggol River in Sukau.

Just some last thoughts about our trips to the Proboscis Monkey Hotspots. This unique creature can fortunately still be observed in his original habitat. Although tour organisations and tour guides will of course always keep the changes higher, after our own six boat trips on the Sungai (=River) Menanggol (the utmost beautiful Kinabatangan side river for spotting Proboscis Monkeys) and talking with many other tourists and guides we can do a guess how big the changes are you will see one species of a certain kind in one boat trip.
These boat trips are offered by almost all five lodges in the afternoon from 4-6 pm.

Private boat trips are 60 RM.

 ©Jan van der Meer

Our Menanggol boats men (with silent electric motor engine) for all trips during this week were from Discovery tours; Samson (right) and his assistant Delilah. A great team. No proboscis and other wildlife will escape on their eyes.  

Just some last thoughts about our trips to all Proboscis Monkey Hotspots. This unique creature can fortunately still be observed in his original habitat. Although tour organisations and tour guides will of course always keep the changes higher, after our own six boat trips on the Sungai (=River) Menanggol (the utmost beautiful Kinabatangan side river for spotting Proboscis Monkeys) and talking with many other tourists and guides we can do a guess how big the changes are you will see one species of a certain kind in one boat trip. These boat trips are offered by almost all five lodges in the afternoon from 4-6 pm. Private boat trips are 60 RM.But first let me be clear, I gave you my own non-commercial view on this. It is my truth. Was it all worthwhile? Is this the best place on this Globe to visit the Proboscis Monkey family?


But please don’t come all together now to Kinabatangan. Locals can only handle no more than app. 100 tourists a day on very basic accommodations. When the river is high and the roads are impossible to ride you only can come by more expensive boat trip from Kota Kinabalu over sea. But to spot PM was Bako Klias or Labuk Bay any better? For a photographer like me, I also liked Bako and Labuk Bay. We could miss the Klias River (too busy and noisy). But the Menanggol River in Sukau is absolutely one of the last remaining beautiful hot spots. But at the same time it can be very sad to notice that PM figures will decline every year. Our Discovery Guide mentioned a WFF counting in this area of about 2000 PM today. To our guess this number must be much lower.

Stimulation on tourism will help Malay Government to realize and hopefully convince congress to preserve wildlife and last bits of remaining forest and not to destroy more for new palm oil plantations. On the other hand the several old tourist boats they use are very noise and scare the animals, also polluting the clean air by leaving a lot of smoky petrol-fumes behind. Silent electric motors could be the answer. Our boat had one and that was perfect.

We figured some changes if you go, just to give you an idea. This used to be a big rainforest! The changes that it will rain: once on 5 trips. (None of the boats have rain covers; all open) The changes you will meet other tourist boats stopping and spotting on the same species will be one to three boats on one trip. (and possible more!)

The changes you will see one Proboscis Monkey group on the Menanggol River once on every trip. But there are certainly also moments you possible see NOT ONE!  Best changes are in the afternoon (4-6 pm) trips. You can follow their behaviour (ask the boats man to switch of their noisy engines ASAP) and listen to their large bizarre range of noises including roars, grunts, nasal honks and squeals. (We recorded these unique sounds and quarrels with a macaque group! Great sounds, probably shortly available on DVD, CD or as MP3 on our Site).
See two PM groups the same trip, this will happen once on every 3 trips.
See more than three groups of PM is once on 10-20 trips.
See PM group with mothers and babies jumping over this river and sometimes fall down in the water is once on may be 20 trips. (We were very lucky to see 10 jumps and filmed several)

Hear Gibbons Sing (early morning) once on 8 trips (Almost never to be seen)
Hear Borneo Pygmy Elephant in distance once on 25 trips

Actually see a Borneo Pygmy group on riverside once on may be 250 trips (we were very very lucky and made some great shots and sound recordings)
See an Orang Utan here once on 15 trips with a very good spotter/guide. But they are not as active as PM.

What we also saw: are many big super white Egrets, Darters, Rhino Hornbill, Wild Boar or Pig, Pied Hornbill, Viper snake, Kingfisher, Long tailed Macaques, Silver Langur, Monitor Lizard, Orang Utans sleeping nests (1000 here to find and 3000 left in total in Borneo and Sumatra) , also many beauty butterflies and many different kinds of trees.

Rope above Menanggol River

Sunday 19-03-2006

Orang Utan cross-over rope used by Proboscis Monkeys.

This evening trip we discovered a large group with 1 male and 15 ladies some with very young babies. They were daily observed by three Japanese University Students making a report on their behaviour in the muddy and swampy side borders of this Menanggol river. Could not get more info this time but….. HELLO JAPAN UNIVERISTY we hope you read this blog and will contact us for more PM info, in exchange we have some nice photo’s of you working there and the PM group you were following.

 All Photo's ©Jan van der Meer

 Further down the river we saw another group PM walking over a thing metal wire. This was really a funny circus act to watch. Originally this wire is meant for Orang Utans to cross the River as they can’t swim, but Proboscis are proficient swimmers, they have webbed back-feet on which they can walk on mangrove areas and swim without sinking.


To walk on a thin rope is more tricky and can go wrong as we saw. They also can fly through the air from one tree to another. But they seem to like this bridge, because they use it and some of them walked over it as an acrobat balancing with there hands but because of their scary running along, one missed a step and fall down but grabbed successfully a tree branch. If they fall in the water they have to swim for their live as crocodiles like this Monkey snack. We have not seen any of them monsters but they are present the locals acknowledge and tourists are advised not to put their hands on the sides of the boat.


But we did see a mother with her baby jumping. She miscalculated the tree distance at the other side and fall in the water with the baby. After a short swim she reached the other side safely. We wondered if the baby can’t break its neck with the collapse on the water surface. Our High Speed Digital film gave the solution; in slow motion we could see in the last frame how she embraced the baby to protect it for the big bang.

The Menanggol River

Saturday 18-03-2006

Shy Proboscis Monkeys

Spent this morning on the Menanggol River but it was cloudy and dark. Not ideal for photographing, so we started recording sounds again on our MD Walkman with a stereo studio microphone.  The quality is superb.  To go for this real unspoiled jungle music without tourists or boat engine noise we have to rent a boat for our own. We rent one twice a day for only 60 RM ( 15 us dollar).  Its for two hours but no problem if longer. Our captain is Samson. He does not speak English (as many Malay here), but he understands our wishes and surprised us, without asking he mounted a small extra silent motor engine on the boat. Slowly we glide stream upwards through the river in silence this is like a dream.  Ideal for our long shots stock footage in High Definition. 
In the distance we hear some Gibbons singing their morning song. Birds (mainly egrets) all over the place, pity Samson doesn’t know any names of birds except for the Hornbill. We see several kinds of them (will look them up afterwards). The colourful Rhino Hornbill is the most impressive and has many similar friends like the pied white hornbill. 

In our search for PM groups we went as far as we could get upon the river. The end is where there is too much hyacinth water-plants and fallen trees on the river. Right at the end (must be at 25 km) we saw a group of PM but the dominant leader was not amused by our presence. He soon moved in opposite direction with his harem. It seems that this far on the river the PM is more shy than their family at the beginning, those are more used to the boat sounds and noisy tourists. So we decided not to hunt them but float back on the slowly drifting river. It is like a dream, nothing but jungle sounds and some fish jumping above the water.

After coming back we heard that others have seen the big elephant group from yesterday (70-80) crossed the 100-150meter wide Kinabatangan River (with big currents) a view hundred meters further from our lodge.

You can’t have it all…

HOT SPOT Proboscis Monkeys

Friday 17-03-2006

Elephants instead of Proboscis Monkey

Today our second day at Menanggol (small River) Lodge from Discovery Tours in Sukau on the riverbank of the Kinabatangan River meaning Long Chinese River (560KM). Named after Chinese doing barter trade with locals for bird nests (soup) and ivory. No wonder local elephants are also nearly extinct. We got to this river lodge after a 2-3 hours long drive from Sandekan, particularly on a bad sand/mud road through the ongoing palm oil plantations. The guide calls it a relaxing ride with back massage! Far from that. There are some simple very basic lodges (small cabins) with jetty’s along the river, but no jungle sounds here for the tourists but a continual day and night annoying machines and motor engine sound coming from a pump on a large and deep palm-oilboat tanker laying in the river. Day and night filled with tons of oil. On the sandy riversides loud manoeuvring big oil lorries. Amazing that they use a place like this in between tourists lodges. It is like an oil harbour. Absolutely ridiculous to disturb our night rest. Not a recommendable place to be, but no alternatives to visit one of the last remaining PM habitats. Let us hope the tanking only happens a few times, a month or year or as our guide told us this is only happening because of the high-water problems? Hope he is right.  The Kinabatangan River two months ago raised 2-3 meters through heavy rainfall and 3 of the 5 lodges on the side of the river in Sukau were out of order.

But no jungle sounds here for us and to record jungle and bird sounds it is impossible within a large area. Some of them still working hard to get them fixed from water damage. The lodges to be also found on Google for more info are: Sukau River Lodge (Shaban Resthouse) Kinabatangan River Lodge, Proboscis Lodge, and our Sri Menanggol Discovery Tours Lodge. The Proboscis Lodge at the entrance of the best PM spotting sighting side river of the Kinabatangan is the Menanggol and was damaged most. This 27 km long river (at the end connected to the Gomantong caves) is only 10-20 meters wide and the best hot spot for Proboscis. Travel between 4 and 6 pm 3 to 5km upstream, as quite as possible; PM is easily disturbed by the sound of boat engines and human chatter. Also early in the morning between 7 and 8 they will be on the sides of this river, after that they disappear in the small left over mangrove and forest. To see how wide this forest actually is we would love to make some photo’s from the sky. We are sure that on some parts after just a few trees the palm oil field start. We could hear twice on a Sunday morning chainsaws!

Many more pics by:
 ©Jan van der Meer

Also on this river we saw several other endangered forest animals like Hornbill, Egrets, Cormorants, Oriental Darter, and….the Borneo Pygmy Elephants. But the change that you see them is little. But we were very lucky and today in the afternoon excursion we saw some on the riverside part of a group of 60. (only 150 in total here and 2000 in Sabah according to WWF) Pretty soon many other boats park with noisy tourists and loud shouting kids. They think it is Disneyworld here.

The guide told us there were two big groups of this special kind of Elephant remaining in this area some monitored with transponder/sender collars; 150 elephants in total. After that we went a lot further down on the river, far away from disturbing sounds for another PM sound recording and digital video and photo sessions. We realize with tears in our eyes that these sounds are probably soon the last remaining sounds one can tape of the last small left over’s of a beautiful rainforest. After a few miles on the sides of the river the oil fields start. Originally we had to leave tomorrow but we love these boat trips and can’t say goodbye to our beloved Proboscis, need more and more footage, so we decided to


Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary

Wednesday 15-03-2006

Adi the photogenic Proboscis Photomodel.

Started phoning Sabah Ministry for Wildlife at KK Miss Jumrafa to get an answer on our question how many PM (Proboscis Monkeys) are living here in Sabah. But as expected she can’t say right now. We have to ask it formally on paper or fax with info for who we are writing and why. So we might try later.

Started phoning Sabah Ministry for Wildlife at KK Miss Jumrafa to get an answer on our question how many PM (Proboscis Monkeys) are living here in Sabah. But as expected she can’t say right now. We have to ask it formally on paper or fax with info for who we are writing and why. So we might try later. At 10.00am we were collected by mr. Sean Lee for a 2 hours ride to Labuk bay Proboscis Monkey sanctuary. Most of the time as usual driving through these sad palm oil plantations. During the drive this enthusiastic employee never stopped talking. Labuk is owned by Mr. Lee a Chinese who opened Labuk Bay in may 2001 on 470 acres land. It is about 300 meters wide and 6 km long and surrounded by Palm Oil fields. Our guide estimated that there are about 300 PM living here in app. 25 groups. (But to our own opinion this could be less). We saw the PM lunch visitor lists of the last weeks, but never there were more as 3 or 4 groups coming for this pancake attraction. He hopes this mangrove will be protected and believes the government also is afraid of the possible tsunamis and knows have to protect the mangroves (with the live food for our PM)

Every year more tourists get the unique possibility to see the unique Proboscis Monkey real close. At the start they just got their daily young green leaves from the Sonneratia trees at the mangrove, but some of them got used to the owner and brake in to his kitchen and start eating the leftovers from his pancakes. They love it. A product of cornflower (no sugar) and water. They also like cucumber and until now they come on certain times to several food stations to enjoy this daily free lunch. The Labuk Staff also won the PM trust by healing their wounds, after dominant leadership fights.

On this left feeding station at Labuk Bay the big group of 10 Bachelors. Also called Boys Club.
The dominant biggest nose on the left declared war with the harem leader and hurt him probably deadly.

Earlier today the staff heard loud war sounds. The leader of a beautiful 12 ladies harem was attacked by the leader of a band of bachelors. This male called Sidane wants to take over his kingdom and started a bloody fight this morning. He has already challenged and hurt the harem lover leader badly probably fatal. Main problem for a PM is that their wounds don’t heal. They can not lick their wounds clear. They get infections and die because of that. At Labuk Bay they found a PM dying the other day and treated his open wounds with insect repellents. This one survived and they gained respect from the group. But today we saw and photographed this new victim of a big fight. Hope he will survive because there are not many Proboscis left.

The tourists can watch this lunchening from a distance at a first floor deck of about 10 to 20 meter. They are planning two separate viewing points now, one for Europeans and one for the noisy Asians.

Also some common macaques and silver leave monkeys like the extra attention and come from high trees down to eat some long beans thrown at the grass field. We saw one grey silver leave monkey with a cute little brown baby and also a brown albino silver leave monkey. After 1-2 hours most tourists were left and we could not believe it but one of the younger Proboscis came suddenly right up to us on the first floor.


Danny another employee of Labuk was buzy doiing his homework to count the eating Proboscis.

He told us Adi is a juvenile PM of 3 years old. The nose still small but with males they will grow really big. He also plays sometimes with another remarkable visitor: a noisy squeaking otter.




Dear God

I was serving mankind.

I am writing to ask you;
do you let monkeys in heaven?
I hear that there are trees in heaven.
If I am allowed in heaven, can I climb trees?
I have never been allowed to climb a tree.
I have been serving mankind.

If I am allowed in heaven,
will my mother be in heaven too?
The reason I ask, dear God,
I was forcefully taken from my mother as an infant,
to serve mankind. Just once I would like to cling to her,
tell her I missed her.

I have been a helping hands monkey all my life.
If I am allowed in heaven God,
will I be able to take the pack off my back,
will I be allowed to take the shock
mechanism off my tail,
I am told it is for positive reinforcement,
to better serve mankind.

Will I get my teeth back?
They were extracted to better serve mankind.
Will I be free to be what I was born to be ~a wild animal?
Will I still be called a hellion, destructive, aggressive and not what was expected of me
when I was serving mankind?

I have been a research monkey all my life,
and suffered great loneliness,
pain and then death in a cold,
stainless steel cage.
I was serving mankind.
I have been a pet monkey all my life.
I have been neglected, abused, tortured, fed the wrong diet, kept in a small cage and have been denied the company of my own species all my life.
I was serving mankind.

~Linda Barcklay for all the suffering primates~



Time enough for me to take some really nice PM close ups. One of the photo’s looks as if they are shot in our Studio.
Is this what we like to see? PM posing inside ? No! But this extra occasion I simply could not resist and shows the absolute beauty of this animal hoping that others also get this PM tick and help to save their nature and rainforest in Borneo!

Official Comments on Labuk Bay Sanctuary:

1.    Tony Blignaut CEO Monkeyland SA wrote:

March 26, 2006 @ 5:43 pm

Dear Jan,

Great reporting of the dire situation in Borneo.
Lubak Bay Proboscis Sanctuary is not all it is made out to be.

I met the two owners when I visited, and established that they actually owned all the property leading up to the current Lubak Bay site. Of-course in those days this was all forest, and these two gentlemen decided to do what every other landowner in that part of Borneo was doing, and that is to cut down the forest that the primates lived in as a cash crop, and replace it with palm oil. Only the swamp area was spared as the palm nuts won’t grow in water.

This resulted in all the primates, Proboscis included being cramped into the narrow strip of Swamp running along the waters edge. This narrow slip was so over populated, and sightings were plentiful, so they decided to build a lodge and exploit some money out of the misery they had created for the primates. Sure they feed them, they have to as the small area the Proboscis and Langur’s have can not support them, and its good to have feeding times, as the guests that come to visit the “Sanctuary” can see the poor animals reduced to scavengers.

What I found especially disgusting was the smell of raw sewerage as soon as I arrived. I investigated and fount that these gentlemen were actually pumping raw sewerage from the lodge and the accompanying accommodation directly into the swamp.

So the owners not only destroyed the primates home range to generate a cash crop, then planted it with a mono-culture that is totally useless to the primates, in order to generate more revenue, they then exploited the primates who were crammed into the small strip of swamp that could not support Palm Oil plants, by building a tourist attraction to generate money out of the misery they created for the Proboscis monkeys, and now they are pumping the sewerage the visitors create into this small strip of swamp.

I have never seen anything so disgusting and cruel, and the owners walk around there smug, telling the visitors how wonderful they are by creating the sanctuary for the Proboscis monkeys.
Keep up the good work.

Tony Blignaut
CEO Monkeyland Primate Sanctuary
Plettenberg Bay
South Africa


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Pulau Tiga

Thursday 9 march

Chain saws at Survival Island Pulau Tiga

Today we are for some days at Pulau Tiga. This island was used for the American popular TV serie Survival Island.(Used for US series and Dutch series Bobo’s in the Bush)

No Proboscis here, but we made some good shots and sound recordings of chainsaws cutting high trees.

Some old sick trees near the lodges had to come down. They were a danger in case of a storm. For us this was a unique opportunity to take some very good shots, to use as stockshots showing the cutting of the rainforest.  

Afterwards the macaques, the only monkey species on this island,
were looking very sad sitting on the cut down trees,
a very symbolic image for the destruction of a rainforest.


Klias River, Bako and Survival Island

Wednesday 8 march

Proboscis at Klias and Bako

This morning was a dull one. Good decision not to go. Cloudy, no sun, so our Monkeys we could not film in their best colours. Took some early shrimp fisher footage instead, busy getting their nets in, all at the South Chinese Sea in front of our doorstep. 

Glad we also went to Bako National Park in Sarawak as our first Proboscis encounter last month in Sarawak. After 4 hours waiting at their hot spot we got some fabulous photo and videoshots of a big group coming real close. (See our video footage at ).

We got the best show so far, with a male walking on the dry mangrove floor, climbing trees, eating leaves all on close range. Mothers showing their babies for the camera! But remarkable enough at Bako we did not hear one Proboscis making a sound. Here at Klias they are ‘talking’ all the time. May be they have to do so because of the noisy motorboats and tourists.
Anyway at 5 oclock we had another trip on the Klias river in a big group decent tourists. We saw, while looking very good with two guides, four big groups of Proboscis. But the weather was not to well. When it was dark we saw many so called Christmas trees full of lightning fireflies. A spectacular view, they even flicker all at the same frequency, that is truly amazing.

One joke is here favourite: …..You know why the Proboscis has a big stomach?……
Because he thinks its Christmas after seeing the illuminated Christmas tree.


Rain and thunder

Tuesday 7 march


5.00 AM rain and thunder for first time in two weeks.
Nice for locals but we hope tomorrow it ‘s over. Later that day we heard the owner went out and suddenly we had to pay a lot again for the first we thought for free offered trip. That is too much for what it will be worth. We expect the monkeys at Klias River always will be too far away to get a some good shots. They must have a big physical problem with these noisy tourists. So we take tomorrow the full tourist boat and maybe we get some other good additive shots and throw some Taiwanese in the river if they don’t shut up.

Noisy Taiwanees

Monday 6 march

Taiwanees number one on top five list for most irritating behaviour.

Today a two hour car drive from KK to Beaufort. This is a small place near the beach in south direction on the road to Brunai. We are going for a boat trip on the Klias River. We are staying three days in the Temperung Seaside Lodge on a hill in a very basic room (220 RM for us two a day including 3 excellent meals looking over the South Chinese Sea. We found this in another Internet blog and booked. Not a suitable place for people with walking problems. All rooms have to be reached by quite difficult jetty like walkways.  We can’t wait to see our monkeys and start our first private boat trip at

4.30 pm. The boats embark near a bridge over the Klias River. We can tell this is one of these typical successful tourist attractions with many companies competing at their own jetty. If a tourist at Kota Kinabalu does not want to make the far trip to the Kinabantang River near Sandakan  this is the place to be, to spot our Proboscis Monkey. Many boats with noisy big 90PK Evinrude (Ever-rude) petrol engines are ready for the late afternoon sunset trip. Many tourist coaches park aside the main road. For our DVD production we rent a boat for ourselves. This way we do not trouble other people and have no noise-troubles from others (we thought). Two widescreen HDV camera’s one on a tripod. Our captain/guide is the very polite friendly and smiling 32 year old Malaysian Fauzi Ratip. He is doing this daily work for 6 years now. In high speed we go to the Proboscis hot spots. It is found after one hour over the Klias River to a smaller side river called the Kuala Garamma.


On this less wider river on both sides are dent swamps with many Sonneratia Cassaloris trees. The Proboscis lives mainly from these leaves.  Soon I spot our first male with the big nose. Fauzi immediately turns the boat and attaches the rope to some water plants and (important) shuts the noisy engine down. But soon several other boats with about 16 noisy tourist each, notice us and parked on our sides. As the Malay are very gentle Fauzi did not dare asking them (other companies) to shut down their engines.

Above these engine sounds comes the noise of the tourists. They have no respect what so ever for nature and the Proboscis families. We also wanted to record the typical funny language sounds of the Proboscis Monkey and brought our best professional DPA studio microphones, but we could forget it. These Asian people were loud shouting, laughing, clapping hands and even smoking. It is a crime and should be stopped.  According to the boss of Fauzi the ‘Top Soundchart’ on this most annoying and irritating behaviour are:
on 5 the Japanese
on 4 Italians (‘Sorry’, he said:  ‘there are off course exceptions’),
on 3 people from Hong Kong,
on 2 people rest of China.
and on 1 the Taiwanese, they really think it is some kind of football game. No respect for nature and their inhabitants at all. I asked the owner to warn these idiots in future. He has to urge them to be quiet or else the boat returns immediately. In Hong Kong we visited some years ago the Panda’s in Ocean Park, no one is allowed to speak, whispering even coughing is forbidden. Chinese surveillance people carry boards with the word Silence! But the Malay people are obviously to polite and friendly to ask this or even dare ask people personally to shut up and be quiet.  Anyway because of this matter, on this KLIAS river tour you can almost forget that the Proboscis Monkey will appear in short camera-range. This animal, as a good Malaysian citizen, is also very shy and hates noisy tourists!

Because of this a decent photo picture in closer range is impossible. They stay far away from the borders. To succeed you need heavy and expensive long paparazzi lenses on high end or professional camera’s. But photographing from a boat with long lenses is also very hard to do the boat ir rocking and on the riverside you are attacked by many mosquitoes. Fortunately the owner after hearing our complaints and our welcome efforts of keeping the Proboscis alive, offered us a next morning trip on the river. No other boats with tourists will be on the river that time and we will be able to tape the typical Proboscis sounds. That’s great! Nevertheless I managed today to get a good interview with our skipper with the Sonneratia and several Proboscis the at the background. Fauzi told us proudly his knowledge about our Proboscis. But these days after a quick search on “Proboscis Monkey” on Google, you find a lot more info and official literature. Fauzi did not even know or heard where the Malaysian name Orang Belanda came from. We had to tell him this! He was pleased to hear from us Dutchies that this common name the Proboscis was given because the early Dutch missionaries and sailors from Holland (Belanda) showed a big resemblance with their big noses and big round stomachs. 


Real great were Fauzi’s Proboscis vocal imitations.
We record several Proboscis sounds for our coming DVD production. He let us hear the warning sounds with a closed nose, a kind of …. ah ah ah ah. The dominant male calling a female is another nice nosey two horn trumpet sound. During mating time the male sounds are like wauw wauw wauw (almost human ha ha) According to Fauzi the Proboscis mates 20 times a day in mating time and his shiny long red penis stays almost all day in erection.  The top of it sticking in his hairy belly. Remember his harem is about 8-12 beautiful short nosed Proboscis Lady Monkeys big. A lot of labour….

Challenging another male for a fight the sound is like a nasal pauw pauw.  While demonstrating these sounds, in the background you could hear the real Proboscis natural angry reaction. He thought it was another male and might think this other Proboscis intends pinching one of his harem ladies!

growls: These calls are made by adult males and this functions to calm another member of group down.

honks: These calls are made by adult males of the group. This functions as an aggressive call which threats other members of the group, and is also made in the presence of predators.

shrieks: These calls are given by juveniles of both sexes and adult females. This is emitted when the individual is agitated or excited.

scream: This vocalization is heard during agonistic interactions (Ruhiyat, 1986). This call is heard during feeding bouts and at night during sleep (Ruhiyat, 1986).


PALM OIL enemy number one

Sunday 5 march 2006
PALM OIL enemy number one of Borneo and Indonesian tropical rainforest.

This is the header of an article in the Sunday Borneo Post today. Yesterday I mentioned the enormous palm oil plantations here in Sabah Borneo. In this local newspaper is indicated that Indonesia will soon take the lead and be worlds number one in producing palm oil for the booming demand in margarine, lipstick, ice-cream, shampoo, chocolate, car/motor oil etc.  The plantations are swallowing up the rainforest with our dear Proboscis Monkeys and other endangered animals such as the Orang Utan, Gibbons, Borneo Elephant, the Rhino Hornbill (their own national symbol) and even tigers. All pretty soon sent to extinction. Mr. Fitrian Ardiansyah from conservation group WWF stated: Indonesia is loosing its rainforest at a rate of approximately four football fields per minute. Governments are only looking at the profits.

This sector earned 4 billion dollars exporting palm oil in 2004. Another bad effect is that these companies just plunder the forests. The valuable tropical trees are cut down and these days quickly collected by helicopters. The devastated areas are left as wasteland and further plantation operations of the palm oil trees are often halted. For example: in West Kalimantan province at the Indonesian Part of Borneo authorities have authorised 2.5 million hectares to be cleared in the past five years but only one million has been actually planted.

The market awareness on the environmental issues is much more intense in Europe than in China. Positive news comes from the World Bank and some private banks, they refuse to finance palm-oil projects detrimental to primary forests with high ecological value!

Hope you can help us and bring this problem and this blog under the eyes of your friend and politicians in your country.  Make people aware of these problems as we like to do with this blog and photo’s. Borneo and Indonesia are (were) beautiful, very attractive and interesting for tourist travellers. But for how long? If all wild-life has gone what is the result? Guess what yesterday  Malaysia Minister of tourism Datuk Mansor declared 2007 as “ Visit Malaysia Year”.  Estimated tourists 20.1 million. Revenue 11 billion Euro’s. Hope they understand that many tourists (and further generations)  will come for the natural original environment, rainforest, underwater world, birds, primates Orang Utan and of course our Proboscis Monkey and they will not like an oil palm spoiled Malaysia!


Proboscis Monkey in logo Rainforest

Proboscis Monkey in logo Rainforest Lodge but not one there.
Date: 4 march 2006

The owners of the luxury Borneo Rainforest Lodge on their homepage use our Proboscis Monkey as a logo. As if one could see them here. Forget it. Our guide explained: around 6 years ago after deportation (with physical big problems for sure) they all left this part of the dents forest, searching for their live supporting trees and leaves elsewhere. We only saw some Orang Utans which consume less specific food. Many people visiting this lodge will not see one animal. You only hear the beautiful constant jungle sounds of frogs, cicadas, some birds and in the morning the beautiful song of some gibbons. If you are very lucky you can hear and see their national symbol the big Rhino Hornbill bird. Not one Borneo Rainforest Staff member could acknowledge and promise me to remove the Proboscis Monkey from their homepage. They better put him as a logo not in a circle but in a coffin.


A primate genocide

Date: 3 march 2006
Place: Borneo Rainforest Lodge Danum Valley.

These days we are visiting Borneo Rainforest to see what is left of it and how we can bring a stop to declining population of our Proboscis Monkey also called here the Orang Belanda. We are also attracted to this place by the Proboscis Logo on their homepage. (So are they actually also there? Will we see them?). After a period of heavy rainfall last weeks February, the main tar-roads and bridges are partly destroyed. Roads are reconstructed now. So we had to take an alternative muddy road. From the small airport in Lahad Datu to this fully booked Rainforest Lodge took us about 3 hours in a 4wheel-drive through the oil palm plantations. Some other guest came by bus from Kota Kinabalu this took them 7 hours. A very depressing trip. All you see left and right of the road is palm oil trees. The jungle is gone. No birds, no monkeys, no butterflies, nothing else but palm oil trees, everywhere you look. All planted by Malaysian and Indonesian human hands. It made us very sad to see with our own eyes the unbelievable destruction of the Sabah jungle.

Every peace of the old ancient first and second category jungle is removed for the benefit of money for Malaisian and Indonesian companies. To clear the rainforest (still going on) all wildlife species had to move or famish. Many of them poor animals got burned down with the forest or died from starvation missing their habitat with special daily diets. Our beloved vegetarian the Proboscis Monkey eats mainly leaves of one tree. Only in swamp areas and lagoons they can find and live from leaves of the trees, it is their major diet. That is why they could never survive elsewhere or in zoo’s. A 1997 attempt to do so with about 100 Proboscis Monkeys failed. (Read KSBK report) Not one deported Proboscis survived at zoos in Surabaya and Toronto Zoo. Some call all this a primate genocide.


Jan’s Borneo Trip

February 28, 2006 at 1:29 pm · Filed under Jan's Borneo Trip

Jan van der Meer is a wildlife photographer travelling now in Borneo with his wife.
He is shooting stunning images like this one!



© Jan van der Meer 2006

for our new mailadres please see header on our new site



February 28, 2006 at 12:08 am · Filed under News

I am a retired Anthropologist whose has started working with people in Borneo to preserve what is left of the natural and semi-natural habitat, etc. Borneo has created 10 Forest Management Units, but the details of the administration of those units is currently being considered. They are, along with the National parks and preserves, the Proboscis Monkey’s best chance for survival. If you would like to learn more about the Proboscis Monkey there are two books that I know of and both of them are for sale at Borneo Books which has its own website. The owner, is a retired Biologist whose speciality is upper-canopy environments.


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