Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary

The rainforests and mangrove forests have constantly been in great danger from us humans just because we want to make way for rice paddies, rubber trees, palm oil plantations, and other forms of agriculture and its destruction is the biggest threat to the proboscis monkeys.

Proboscis monkeys (Nasalis larvatus) are said to be endemic to Borneo and is found mostly in mangrove forests and on the coastal areas of the island….

Known and named for their long bulbous noses, orange /red face, proboscis monkeys have big bellies (look like they are always pregnant) and the males are hmmm…… constantly aroused.

Among the largest of Asia’s monkeys, male proboscis monkeys can reach up to 50 pounds, while females are only about half that size. Adults wear a coat of light brown fur that turns red around the head and shoulders and gray at the arms, legs, and tail. Only males develop the namesake nose while females have a pointy nose….

Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey is a private proboscis monkey sanctuary, with an estimate of 300 wild monkeys living here in the 6-sq-km reserve.

The proboscis monkeys are enticed with food – and in this case sugar -free pancakes which may put some of the more ecological tourists off…

The staff at the sanctuary will bring out a huge bucket of these pancakes at 9.30am and 2.30pm at Platform A, and 11.30am and 4.30pm at Platform B, 1km away which are the observation platforms for us humans…

Be prepared for what seems like a stampede moments after the food is poured out… this would be because some or most of the male proboscis monkeys tend to be pretty agressive in a show of dominance in between themselves and enjoy making noise like stomping on the boards … Some of the guests and I were a little shocked at one of the male jumping all over the platforms aggressively and on the way there but the keeper or sanctuary staff said they were just showing off as well as warning their other friends…

Labuk Bay’s mission is to provide a sanctuary for the proboscis monkeys and to educate people on sustainable ways of co-existing with nature and its inhabitants…. If you are lucky and sharp eye, the mangroves of Labuk Bay are home to more than just the proboscis monkeys!

You can also spot the silver leaf monkeys, otters, slow lorises, and hornbills at the sanctuary.

Teluk Labuk (Labuk Bay) sits 15km off the main highway. The route is signposted and largely paved.

The quickest way to get from Sandakan to Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary is to take Maxim or Grab which costs RM 50 – RM 95 and takes about 45 mins….. or you can follow a tour company or drive there

Address – Mile 19, Sandakan Sps 3, Sandakan 90000 Malaysia

Website –

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