AN ENCOUNTER WITH THE BOHOL TARSIERS
The Chocolate Hills and Tarsier are synonymous to Bohol.
And in my recent visit to Bohol ,I had the opportunity to have a close encounter with world’s smallest primates, the tarsiers. After my short visit at the viewing deck of the Chocolate Hills, I decided to drop by the Sanctuary of Bohol Tarsiers.
When you arrived at the place, you must pay a minimal entrance fee. After which, you need to listen to a short orientation given to all the guests visiting the sanctuary.
Tarsiers are shy nocturnal animal that leads a mostly hidden life. They normally sleep at daytime near the trunks of trees and shrubs. Hence, guests are requested not to make so much noise so as not to disturb the animals. I was quite excited when I saw one, because that was my first time to see these animals. I had the difficulty of taking their photos because that was noontime and they were sleeping when I arrived. It’s interesting to note that Tarsier’s diet consists mostly of insects such as cockroaches and crickets, but if they have a chance to catch a small lizard, bird or bat, they won’t hesitate to do so.
Although the species is believed to be about 45 million years old, and is perhaps one of the oldest land species to continuously live in the Philippines, it was only introduced to western biologists in the 18th century.
In Bohol, this little creature is known under a lot of names, often different from town to town, some of their local names include “mamag”, “mago”, “magau”, “maomag”, “malmag”, and “magatilok-iok”.
Unlike in the past where visitors are allowed to touch the animals, visitors are now prohibited to touch them. I didn’t stay long at the sanctuary because that was already 11 am and I was already hungry.
Within the vicinity are stalls selling food and souvenirs , so before proceeding to our next destination, I decided to hydrate myself with a fresh buco juice and let my driver/tour guide had his lunch. I also took a short time to buy some souvenirs to bring home.
How to Get There:
To get to the Tarsier Sanctuary, just hop on a bus headed for Sikatuna from the Dao bus terminal in Tagbilaran. The trip should only take about 30 minutes.
The address is:
The Philippine Tarsier Foundation,
Km. 14 Canapnapan Corella, Bohol 6300 Philippines
Tel: (0912) 5163375
Mobile: (0918) 6021326