Thursday, October 13, 2011

The littlest bastard

Not my photo.
We'll get to my disappointing photos in a minute

The Philippine tarsier was one of the things I was most looking forward to seeing in this country - and not, like many people, because of their teddy bear style cuteness. I don't see that myself. To me, they look sort of like a cross between an owl, a lemur and a poo.

But I find all primates fascinating, especially these older types who were clinging to branches with their funny fingers long before our ape ancestors learned to walk upright and were taught to kill by a weird alien monolith. Go back far enough, and we might have been a lot like these guys.

I feel a particular affinity with the Philippine tarsier. They enjoy a solitary existence and don't like staying in one place too long. They only mate once a year and like eating crickets. We both look a bit like aliens as well, or at least when I was ill at school once, the popular concensus was that I looked 'like ET when he's dying.' These things look more like Ewoks.

Philippine Tarsier Foundation,

You can see these little whippersnappers at the Philippine Tarsier Foundation, where they're given all the freedom they need to enjoy their lonesome lives and where you can struggle to take some rubbish, blurry photos when you spot them in the trees.

Alternatively, you can probably find petting zoos of lower moral fiber dotted around Bohol and elsewhere in the Philippines, where people will put the petrified creatures on your arms for amusing photos. Bearing in mind that tarsiers get so stressed in captivity, they've been known to commit suicide.

Let's play nice, and maybe one day when our planet is invaded by super-advanced beings from Vega, our alien oppressors will show similar mercy to human scum.

Let's go hunting for tarsiers! (Note: not actually hunting)

Blurry tarsier #1 (it's there somewhere)

Blurry tarsier #2 (+ baby, apparently)

Blurry tarsier #3 plays peek-a-boo... ah shit, I guess they are sort of cute

Blurry tarsier #4 hides in a tree, the selfish get. (It was raining)

Here's a dead one. Looks like it was up to no good

Here's a guy filming TV

For all of the foundation's conservation efforts, dead tarsier pelts are still a core part of Bohol's souvenir trade. Makes me sick

Butterfly Farm

I was so over butterfly farms the third time they were bundled into one of my package tour itineraries. Today, everything just looked like tarsier food.

Yum yum

I assume that's supposed to be a tarsier? It would be cynical of me to speculate it's actually just an old bear costume they've sewn big eyes onto, without compensating for any of the creature's other distinctive features or proportions in any way.

Yep, definitely a custom-made tarsier outfit.


  1. Sooo jealous you have all the time and money to do this! I'm gonna do all these too, it would just take a lil time for me...dango! but still thanks to my job!

  2. If you're in Bohol (or Cebu), you can take a shuttle bus to see the tarsiers, Chocolate Hills and other sights of Bohol in one afternoon for about PHP1,000 - at least, that's what they charged me.

    No travel agents seemed to do the trip, but I found it at the Bohol Tropics Resort.

  3. I'll keep that in mind, that would be on for next year though..