Syafaruddin urged measures to keep the primates from clashing with humans over habitat and resources.
“We have requested the Nunukan regency administration allocate funds for the proboscis monkey’s food and shelter. These are essential, as the proboscis monkeys are wild and potentially dangerous to humans,” he noted.
“These measures' proper application can help the proboscis monkeys thrive and revive Nunukan’s tourism industry, which has been hit hard by Covid-19.”
But Syafaruddin is aware that the authorities have much work to do. “Proboscis monkeys experiencing habitat loss often seek food in human habitations. They also damaged cars and other vehicles,” he noted.
“A number of travel communities also reported that poachers shot and hunted [proboscis monkeys] for human consumption, while others bore a grudge against the primates for damaging property."
Syafaruddin added that his office will continue to develop BelagaOne.
“I hope we can formalize BelagaOne as a tourist site by setting an entrance fee and building a 800 meter wooden bridge.”
To date, there are more than 20 thousand proboscis monkeys in Borneo. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature or IUCN listed the proboscis monkey as an endangered species after their numbers were reduced by half over the past 40 years.
(Writer: Ahmad Zulfiqor, Nunukan Contributor | Editor : Kahfi Dirga Cahya)
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