Silver Leaf Monkey or Silvered Langur (species: Presbytis cristata) is a common primate in South East Asia. Normally its fur is in dark and silvery grey color like photo below, but a group of “white” Silver Leaf Monkey is recorded in Kinabatangan, Sabah (according to the book A Field Guide to the Mammals of Borneo).
Pic: normal Silver Leaf Monkey is in metallic grey color
Being one of the rarest primates of Borneo, the distribution and number of white Silver Leaf Monkey are so small that I didn’t expect to see one during my recent wildlife tour in Kinabatangan.
Pic: Danau Pitas Lake of Kinabatangan
Therefore, I was so excited to see a group of them at Danau Pitas, one of the 20 Ox-bow lakes in Kinabatangan. However, as Silver Leaf Monkey herd is always on the move, you shall not expect to see them in the same place.
Unlike the cheeky macaque, the white morph of Silver Leaf Monkey is very elusive. Though I wish to take a very good look of them, they were hiding behind the leaves, high on the tree. There were about 4 to 5 of them in this group in the forest next to this lake.
When I moved closer, they started to flee and leaped to other trees.
One of them stayed around. I knew it would be gone soon, so I couldn’t keep my eyes away from it, just to enjoy the sighting as much as I could. To be precise, white morph of Silver Leaf Monkey is a bit reddish in color. Its tail is longer than its body. Silver Leaf Monkey is diurnal and arboreal. Its main diet consists of fruits, leaves and shoots.
Oops… here it ran again, such a shy and agile monkey.
It still made a short appearance before vanishing into the wood. I couldn’t complain because it was lucky to see them.
You may visit Danau Pitas if you come to Kinabatangan Floodplain in Sandakan. According to my guide, a 27.4-feet python was captured here in year 2002. Who knows you may see other strange creature in this lake.
Photos taken in Sandakan, Sabah, Malaysia Borneo