Friday, March 11, 2011

Monkeys business


I spotted a family of Macaques Monkeys at Hua Guan Avenue recently. As monkeys do, family members preening each other. Besides the business of preening each other adults mate rather freely.  I recall from my visits to Botanic Garden as a child witnessing with some degree of embarassment the mating of these primates. They are totally uninhibited nor disturbed by the presence of other monkey families or humans in the park.

There are a few popular places that Singaporean Chinese visited during Chinese New Year in the 50's and 60's; Botanic Gardens is one of them. You can buy peanuts form hawkers at the entrance to feed the monkeys. As the years goes by the monkey population increased and became aggressive. In the 70's they had to be culled after a number of reported attacks on visitors, reducing the population to a very small number.

In the year 1971 two monkeys were found dying on the roadside outside the Botanic Gardens in Tyersall Avenue. The monkey are believe to have been fed with poisoned bananas. This was most likely the work of an individual with a grudge against the animal because the authorities would not have used poison to eliminate them. I remember news reports of pallet gun being used.

Credit: National Archive of Singapore - PICAS


  1. frankie, monkeys are the same everywhere. they enjoy scratching each other's back and they perform the mating act - doggie style - in front of everybody. in your video clip, there were 4 monkeys?

  2. Yes. I remember in primary school, our teacher brought to Botanical Gardens and we were so fascinated by the monkeys climbing all over the school bus. Recently I saw some at Holland Link. Not sure where they came from.

  3. yg there are about six of them, three generations I think. Not all are capture in the video.

    Yes Chun See I think the monkeys were the main attraction at Botanical Gardens for us kids in those days.