"The tarsier- Bohol" Top 5 Page for this destination Philippines Things to Do Tip by elsadran
Philippines Things to Do: 495 reviews and 1,012 photos
Tarsiers are a protected species as their number has been lowered down as a result of the forest elimination and their hunting. Many ignorant tourists buy them for pets and this is absolutely criminal because tarsiers can not live in captivity away from their natural habitat. It is said that they are very emotional and get depressed if they are not with their mate !!! If they are unhappy they commit suicide by banging their heads on something hard!! So don't even think of buying one. And if you want to visit them go the Tarsier Foundation Center where they are doing their best to protect them from extinction, and not to the private operation on Loboc river. These people just think of their profit.
They are small enough to fit in your hand thus being the smallest primates on Earth. And more important, the oldest surviving primates as they have been here for more than 45 million years !!
Their name comes from the latin "tarsius", which in turn comes from the ancient greek word "tarsos" which describes the upper part of the foot. That's because they have elongated tarsus bones. This as well as the two claws and sucking cups in their feet and their tail help them cling and climb on the branches very efficiently and leap more than 5 meters!!
As it is a nocturnal animal it feeds during the night with insects and small lizards and keeps almost still during the day. Their huge, frightening for some people, eyes are open and fixed but they can rotate their head more than 180 degrees !! Even when a baby is born it has its eyes open. They live alone or in family groups and they groom each other as a form of social communication.
Nowadays there are only few left in Philippines ( Bohol, Samar, Leyte and Mindanao) and Indonesia.
Personally I find them very cute although I have a suspicion that Spielberg was inspired by them when he created E.T. !!!
The Philippines Tarsier Foundation is in the middle of the island near Corella and Sikatuna in a region called Canapnapan. A bus covers the 10klms distance from Tagbilaran in half an hour or else take a bus for Sikatuna.
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