Tarsier Sanctuary and Dolphin Watching in Bohol

posted in: Nature, Philippines | 1

I didn’t allow enough time to spend in Bohol, mainly because I spent too much time in Manila. I really regretted this decision as Bohol had everything that was required to make me happy, including street food which will be the subject of another post.

However short my visit, I did get to see one of the things that was on the top of my to-do list and that is the Tarsier Sanctuary near the town of Corella. Sadly for me, the tarsiers had been affected quite a bit by the earthquake that had shaken up the region and had retreated further inland. Still, despite all this, I did manage to see three of them, which is much better than other travelers who came out empty handed.

The Philippine tarsier is endemic to the Philippine archipelago. It measures between 85 to 160 millimetres (they are about the size of a young child’s hand), which makes it one of the world’s smallest primate. Not monkey, primate. It is not a monkey.

Its huge eyes being fixed in their sockets, the tarsier has developed the ability to turn their heads up to a 180 degrees. You surely won’t be surprised to hear that these little fellas, who always look surprised, have the largest eye-to-body size ratio of all mammals.

Sadly, the tarsier is endangered and doesn’t have a high survival rate in captivity, as it tends to commit suicide because of the stress caused by increased stimulation such as light from camera flash, noise, small enclosure and human handling. In fact, it will get so traumatized by it’s captivity, that it will commit suicide by banging its head against the bars of the cage or other objects, which will eventually lead to their deaths since they have such thin skulls.

More disturbing still is that despite this fact, tarsiers have become popular in the pet industry.

You can read more about the tarsier here or here.

You can also watch this video from the True Facts series narrated by Ze Frank who sounds an awful lot like Morgan Freeman, which I find has many hilarious short segments for other species as well.

I also managed to do a bit of dolphin watching. I paid for the whole day, including a driver. I ended up enjoying it for only two hours as I had a plane to catch back to Manila. Otherwise, I think I could have watched them go all day and not be bored.

The day started earlier than usual for me and I found myself on the water for the sunrise. This was stunning in itself and would have made going out worth it on its own. I could just imagine myself with a nice cup of coffee and cushions to lay back on. This being said, I am glad I didn’t have that stroke of genius the day of, since the boat was quite rocky. I have a feeling the coffee would probably have ended up burning hot on my laps.

Then, there were the dolphins. I felt like a kid when I first saw them breach the water. Yes, I was clapping my hands in excitement, I’m not ashamed to admit it. They put on quite a show for me and they were quite playful. They had such strength when it came to jumping out of the water. It is when you see them jumping repetitively, that you realize just how strong they are.

One Response

  1. The True Facts series is narrated by ze Frank. Though he did make one about Morgan Freeman and his voice is very reminescent of his voice. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ch5MEJk5ZCQ

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