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Wildlife Wednesday: Proboscis Monkey


Wildlife Wednesday: Proboscis Monkey

This Wildlife Wednesday, learn about the proboscis monkey - a nosy fellow and runner up for the title of world’s ugliest animal.

Cute and cuddly critters such as the Arctic fox and red panda are often the much-loved mascots of conservation efforts. We tend to turn our noses up at endangered animals that are as weird and wonderful as the proboscis monkey, but a recent poll awarded the title of world’s ugliest animal to the homeliest creature in need. The proboscis monkey might not have beaten the blobfish (we might say he lost by a nose), but we’re still giving him some love this Wildlife Wednesday.


Proboscis monkeys live near water sources in the mangrove forests of Borneo.


  • The typical proboscis monkey diet consists of new leaves and 40 percent unripe fruit—contributing to this primate’s prominent potbelly.
  • Proboscis monkeys have webbed hands and feet and are known to belly flop (majestically) into the bodies of water around which they live.
  • Despite its sad and droopy appearance, the male proboscis monkey’s nose may be a way of attracting small-nosed females. According to some scientists, lady monkeys can’t resist the siren song of a male’s nasally mating call.

Why they’re threatened

The proboscis monkey’s notable nose may be disappearing. These primates are listed as endangered by the IUCN, with deforestation around Borneo being the main threat to their habitat. Their unconventional beauty may not have done them any favours as far as conservation is concerned. Research studies have also revealed that less-attractive endangered animals—usually amphibians and reptiles—receive less aid than their cuddly counterparts. “Poster species” are prettier or more useful, stealing the spotlight from some equally deserving fellows such as the proboscis monkey.

How we can help

It’s as clear as the nose on his face that the proboscis monkey is in need of some help. If you too have fallen for this primate’s charm, contribute to conservation efforts at the Proboscis Monkey Project.



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Brendan Rolfe, CPHR, BA, DipABrendan Rolfe, CPHR, BA, DipA