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Whilst travelling through the north east Indian state of Assam, one of the interesting encounters I had was with the rare and endangered Golden Langur Monkey. The city of Guwahati lies on the banks of the Brahmputra River and from there I took a boat ride to Umananda island, one of several small islands within the river. The island, sometimes referred to as Peacock Island, has a small Hindu temple at its peak, but my reason for visiting was not the temple, but to see the golden langurs.
The island is home to a colony of 20 or 30 golden langurs, which because the island is so small and is so frequently visited, are quite accustomed to people to the point where they can be readily handfed. This “tameness” meant that it was possible to get quite closeup photographs. At one point I was quite engrossed in photographing a particular monkey, when my concentration was broken by someone tapping me on the shoulder. I turned around and there was another golden langur sitting on a low hanging branch directly behind me with his hand held out (having got my attention) hoping for a treat. The monkeys feed on the fruit of several huge fig trees on the island but this is supplemented by cake handed out by visitors, I hope the handouts don’t have any adverse effect on their health.
Canon 5D Mark 2 with 70-300mm zoom at 170mm F5.0, shutter speed 1/200 second at ISO 500.
Gee’s Golden Langur (Trachypithecus geei), or simply the Golden Langur, is an Old World monkey found in a small region of western Assam, India and in the neighboring foothills of the Black Mountains of Bhutan. It is one of the most endangered primate species of India. Long considered sacred by many Himalayan peoples, the Golden Langur was first brought to the attention of science by the naturalist E. P. Gee in the 1950s. Source: BBC.