An early morning arrival at the entrance to ancient Polonnaruwa for a meeting with its clusters of curious primates and their devoted researchers.
Medieval Polonnaruwa is home to thriving populations of torque macaques, grey langurs and if you cast your gaze upwards, higher-dwelling purple-faced leaf eaters. Their numbers have not always been so prolific and like many other countries, reduction of habitat meant monkey numbers were in decline. Luckily, in stepped the Smithsonian Research Center, whose field researchers will guide you around the set of Disney’s Monkey Kingdom. Observe social interactions and behaviours of local troops as you stroll around a small part of this area, learning of the challenges of monkey conservation. Continue to explore the ruins before it gets too hot!
Your hosts are researchers from the Smithsonian Primate Research Center, affectionately known as “Monkey Camp” and champions of scientific conservation of primate diversity and population for 47 years. The field station has a global educational reach, teaching and inspiring others to protect primates and other wildlife, not only in Sri Lanka but worldwide. Their work features in notable TV documentaries and recently a Disney movie.