Recently, Civetgirl Weiting and I have been walking Southern Ridges from NUS to Harbour Front weekly. We enjoy seeing people using Henderson Waves which, at 36m above Henderson Road, is the highest pedestrian bridge in Singapore [see the NParks guide]. The bridge connects Mount Faber Park to Telok Blangah Hill Park.
What we love seeing even more are wild long-tailed macaques, indifferent to the humans around them who are behaving sensibly and enjoying the experience of watching a wild native species of Singapore.
The best signs put up by NParks about how to behave around monkeys are to be found all along the Southern Ridges. These were put up a a year or two ago, possibly in response to an aggressive male which had learnt to approach people carrying plastic bags and erm, insist on a reward for his efforts!
A long-lasting and hopefully pre-emptive solution? Signs which educate the public clearly about how to behave around macaques. These also add a unique clear message for those who would persist in bad behaviour (inevitably resulting in the call to kill monkeys) – “please avoid this trail if you are not comfortable with the presence of wild monkeys”.
With not a single plastic bag in sight and everyone mostly keeping a respectful distance from the macaques as advised by the signs, the public stopped to admire and photograph the three monkeys yesterday evening. The long-tailed macaques ambled along the bridge edge of Henderson Waves with quadrupedal grace as the sun sank into the horizon.
Thanks to Amy Klegarth for bringing my attention to that very special bit of advise on the sign earlier in the day.