The Formosan Macaque's (Macaca Cyclopis) original stomping
grounds extended from the lowlands to around 3,000 meters
above sea level in southern Taiwan. Now, due to human
overcrowding, hunting and pollution, these monkeys are
hard to spot. But, thanks to the efforts of Mr. Lin,
who started taking care of Formosan Macaques in 1989,
we can still observe them in their natural habitat.
Straddling the Tainan County/Kaohsiung County border
in Nanhua Township is Mr. Lin's Wushan Monkey Conservation
Area. To get there, take Taiwan Highway 3 to Nanhua
(which is south of Yujing and north of Cishan), then
turn up Road 176 or Road 176-2. Signs along both these
roads will lead you to the privately-owned monkey area.
There's no admission charge, but food for the monkeys
and refreshments for visitors are sold to help support
Weighing in at four to seven kilograms, with a body
length of 40 to 65 centimeters and a tail extending
a further 35 to 45 centimeters, the macaque is not particularly
large. But don't underestimate them-they are wild animals.
When feeding, hide the bag of food, or they will jump
on you and steal it. Also, hold tight onto your valuables
like keys, purses and wallets, as the monkeys like to
steal interesting things from people. Note that bringing
your own food to feed the animals is not allowed, as
their diet needs to be controlled.
There are some great hikes around here, notably the
Wushan Health Trail. This path links the monkey reserve
with the Southern Cross-Island Highway and you'll probably
see many many macaques in their natural habitat here.