Jul 29, 2010

Advice to the ugly

I almost hesitated to post this picture for two reasons. One is that the mission of this blog specifically excludes the "maimed," and apparently I am not the first to think that this animal looks like the victim of either a tragic accident or plastic surgery gone horribly wrong.

But this is the totally natural, unaltered appearance of the Tonkin Snub-Nosed Monkey, and I figured I better go ahead and post it because this animal may not be with us for much longer.

It's classified as critically endangered, one of the 25 most endangered primate species in the world, and only a couple of hundred individuals remain in five isolated locations in Vietnam. It's so rare that it was believed extinct until its rediscovery in the 1990s.

This monkey isn't one of those animals that's going extinct because no one is paying attention. The group Flora and Fauna International has been working on its preservation for years, and even discovered a new population in 2008. But they recently announced that it's on the brink of extinction in one district, down to 20-30 monkeys.

The species is threatened by habitat loss and also by hunting, even though it's reported to taste pretty ugly too, so it's not killed for food. But it seems like its worst problem is that it doesn't know who its enemies are. One researcher reports that unlike most animals that are threatened by hunting, these monkeys didn't flee when they encountered her.

So there's the second reason I hesitated to write about this guy: I don't want to be part of his problem. So let me be clear to any Tonkin Snub-Nosed Monkeys that are reading: There may be some of us who love you, but if you see a human, don't stick around to chat about whether they read Ugly Overload. Just RUN AWAY.

(See a bunch more pictures here and thanks to @SpeciesoftheDay for the inspiration.)

-Your ugly primate friend,
Wombat (No Relation)


thanh n said...

I think they look more cute than ugly, but maybe that's just me. The poor things, if only they weren't so stupid then maybe they could come off of the endangered species list.

Anonymous said...

Reminds me of Henry Waxman.

jenjen said...

Ha, he seriously does look like Waxman!

wombat said...

Uncanny. What's worse, looking like a plastic surgery disaster or looking like a politician?

Rusty Marcum said...

Well, if you are being compared to Waxman...... I would opt for having a plastic surgery disaster in Lativa

Anonymous said...

Man that monkey look scary! If I see him, I'm gonna runa and be all like, "Man that monkey tried to eat me!"

Anonymous said...

Kenny Rogers!