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‘Grunting noises’ lure man into Singapore woods. Then he discovers rare creature

Photo by Swapnil Bapat on Unsplash

Tony Ng was recently near Clementi Woods Park in Singapore, so he decided to make a quick visit.

“Pleasantly surprised by the amount of wildlife there (given how small it is),” he wrote in a Sept. 6 Instagram post.

That’s when he heard something strange.

“While walking along the path I heard some grunting noises repeatedly coming from somewhere; thought it was wild boars at first,” Ng wrote.

Ng followed the noise, but he didn’t find wild boars. Instead, he said he stumbled upon an unusual looking monkey perched on a tree branch.

“At first, I thought it was a Raffles’ banded langur. When I searched on Google, I realized it looked nothing like it,” Ng, a student at the National University of Singapore, told The Straits Times. “It was just zoning out.... I was confused because it didn’t look like anything I had seen before.”

The creature was actually a silvered langur, but experts are still working to determine what species it belongs to, primatologist Andie Ang told Mothership. Ng’s encounter is said to be the first time a silvered langur has been spotted in Singapore.

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Ang told the outlet that she and her team will collect feces from the animal to test its DNA and determine its species. She said the langur could have made it to Singapore by swimming from Indonesia or as a stowaway on a ship from Malaysia or Indonesia.

Silvered langurs are typically found in dense forests in Brunei, Indonesia and Malaysia, according to the New England Primate Conservancy. They are also known on Batam in the Riau Archipelago, and they can live in mangrove and sub-coastal forests, bamboo forests and swamp forests.

Singapore park officials are urging people to stay away from the creature if they see it, How Choon Beng, NParks’ director of wildlife management and outreach, told The Straits Times.

“The silvered langur is generally shy, and is not likely to approach humans,” Beng told the news outlet. “Members of the public are advised not to approach or feed the animal.”

People should also avoid flash photography that may scare the animal, officials told the outlet.

Clementi Woods Park is near the southwestern coast of Singapore.

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