Golden langur (Trachypithecus geei)

I wonder what these beautiful flowers taste like! Their scent is so sweet and draws you in, but they are rarely accessible to humans as they are high on the trees.

For a golden langur they are most definitely a delicacy and I had an amazing time watching this group plucking one flower after the other. Another bonus for me was that the tree was still without any foliage and thus the langurs were all out in the open. Yet they did not seem at all disturbed by my presence, opposed to the timid macaques.

This is an endangered species, on the brink of critically endangered, and almost the entire species resides in Bhutan – only a very few live in India. A group were given to the Umananda Temple on an island in the Brahmaputra river in Guwahati of Assam. Instead of being a success in saving and expanding the range of the species, they are now even more endangered than ever before.

I visited the temple in 2018, and only one of them was still alive there – all alone and depressed. Their health deteriorated over time, ever since they were separated from their native forest, and are now all are dead. The danger of keeping a group separate from the overall gene pool, as well as their dietary requirements, seemed to elude the caretakers, and now they are no more.

Their death has not gone unnoticed in India:
36 years after they were first introduced, Golden Langurs disappear from Umananda Temple

If India is unable to secure its existence, Bhutan will be their only hope for survival.

Elevation: 1008 meters

Last updated on 2 October 2021