The timely rescue of a young Malayan colugo

Two days ago, I chanced upon a heartwarming story of the timely rescue of a young Malayan colugo (Galeopterus variegatus) in Singapore posted on Facebook by a fellow animal lover, Mei. While reading it, I thought to myself…I simply have to share this story with you! So I promptly contacted her with an irresistible invite to be my guest blogger. Lucky for me, she agreed. In her own words, let us share this wonderful story that unfolded right before her eyes. Be prepared to have your own ‘Awwww’ moment too at the end, don’t say I didn’t warn you!

Friday, 21 August 2015 MacRitchie Reservoir Park, SINGAPORE
Shared By: Mei Hwang

(Warning: Images may cause distress to some viewers.)

It was a day like any other. I was out for my nature walk with my camera, something I had been doing on a regular basis for almost 2 years. When I arrived at the entrance of MacRitchie Reservoir Park, there was a group of people gathered around a troop of Long-tailed macaques (Macaca fascicularis). The macaques were in turn gathered around what I initially thought was a young macaque. When I took a closer look, I realised to my horror that it was a young Malayan colugo. The macaques were making a sport of the poor colugo, taking turns to drag it about. But macaques are naturally very curious animals and were most likely just checking out this strange new species which had found its way on the ground. No matter, my heart sank and I thought there was no way the young colugo would survive being subjected to such trauma. It was heartbreaking to hear the cries of distress from the colugo while it fought tenaciously for its life.

The distressed baby Colugo trying to get away
The distressed young colugo trying to get away
The baby colugo continued it's brave fight to get away
The colugo continued it’s brave fight to get away

After a while, the crowd lost interest and began to disperse. I looked around a little helplessly and worried for the safety of the colugo. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw two people in ACRES* (a local animal rescue group) t-shirts standing some distance away.  Talk about good timing! I ran over to them and quickly alerted them to the situation. I was so glad to have caught them as they were actually there to respond to another request for help.

They contacted another colleague, who arrived at the scene very quickly and sprang into action. We kept a watchful eye on the macaques (especially the alpha male) in case they should turn aggressive. With long sticks in hand, the ACRES crew carefully approached the macaques to disperse them to facilitate the safe rescue of the young colugo. Thankfully, the macaques retreated and we were able to rescue the colugo which by this time had scrambled into the drain for safety.

Waiting to be rescued.
Waiting to be rescued

It was swiftly brought back to ACRES for observation. Even though the macaques were not maliciously trying to hurt the colugo, I am just glad that this incident was intercepted on time. It was a great relief for me to receive a text message later that night that the young Colugo was doing well and had been released back into the wild.

Safe and sound with ACRES
Successfully rescued by ACRES Singapore

Kudos to the good people at ACRES for being at the right place and at the right time. It was an absolute thrill for me to play a small part in this rescue operation. What a day!

Meet Mei Hwang, my guest blogger from Singapore

I live in Singapore and started my journey in nature photography in September 2013 after following a friend on a birding walk. I have not looked back since and do about three walks a week taking pictures of the flora and fauna in the parks and nature reserves of Singapore. I look forward to every single walk and never cease to be amazed at the sheer biodiversity in the small island state of Singapore.”

A BIG thank you to Mei for sharing this story with us! You are awesome!

*Who is ACRES?

ACRES, an acronym for Animal Concerns Research & Education Society is a Singapore-based charity that promotes animal welfare and carries out wildlife rescue work. They run a number of vital campaigns promoting awareness in the local community about illegal wildlife trade and animal cruelty issues. I encourage you to visit their site and learn more about their ongoing contributions to make this world a better place for animals in Singapore. The site is comprehensive and packed with a number of interesting information resources (i.e. Cruelty-free living, Zoo animal welfare). Also, don’t miss the inspirational story about their humble beginning.

Don’t you just love stories with a happy ending and we definitely need more of them 🙂 Hope it brought a smile on your face. Till next time everyone!

Photo Credit: Mei Hwang

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3 thoughts on “The timely rescue of a young Malayan colugo

  1. Deniz Ortac

    Many ‘Awwww’ moments indeed. Such a beautiful story about such a beautiful animal. I didn’t know about Malayan Colugos, so this was also an ‘Ahaaa’ moment for me! Very nice photography too.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: A Peek into Singapore’s Wildlife – Conservation for the Wild

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