After losing an argument with a younger, stronger, rival male this once powerful alpha male Proboscis Monkey has lost his female harem at Labuk Bay. He is now a social outcast, shunned by his ex-wives and children. For the sake of brevity we will call him Taib.
Proboscis Monkeys are highly social primates but Taib’s only friend amongst the many primates at Labuk Bay is one of the staff at the Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary.
Taib appears to be in fine health with an enormous nose- normally a sign of high status in Proboscis Monkey society.
This is the younger stronger male that defeated Taib and took over his harem of 6 fertile females. His nose is even bigger than that belonging to Taib ! For the sake of brevity we will call him Bharu.
Whilst Taib sits alone nearby, Bharu is busily impregnating Taib’s ex-harem of 6 females. There are two juveniles in this photo. Both are probably females. When an alpha male takes over an existing troop they are believed to kill any infant males in the harem group.
According to the guides at Labuk Bay Proboscis Sanctuary it is ultimately the females in a harem who decide on the suitability of a new alpha male. (If the harem don’t like the successful male they may join a different troop or even stay with the previous defeated male). Defeated adult males such as Taib rarely survive long outside a supportive troop, falling easy prey to predators such as pythons or Clouded Leopards. The next generation of Proboscis in Taib’s ex-family will all be fathered by Bharu.
Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary is about 20 minutes drive from the tourist lodges at Sepilok , # 9 in the map above .
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