The Tarsier – native to the Philippines and seemingly a mix between a monkey, a koala bear and an alien!!
First up you’ll have glanced at the photo of the odd looking creature and be asking “What’s a Tarsier?” I also didn’t know the answer until I seen one on Bohol island in the Philippines last month! Is it a monkey? No. Is it a koala bear? No. Is it an alien? No. But it could be a mixture of all three. Seriously and yes, again worth seeing! (Please do note that NOT ALL my travel writings are positive – but I love travel so most things tend to be 😉 )
Tarsier Conservation Centre in Loboc in Bohol, PHILIPPINES
We made the trip to the Tarsier Visitors Centre to check these creatures out. Entrance fee is 60 Philippine Pesos (that’s about 1 UK Pound). In terms of getting there, similarly to the Chocolate Hills, there are 3 main options – either rent a car or motorbike and head there yourself, grab a bus from Tagbilaran to Sikatuna (and jump out at the Tarsier Centre) or do it as part of a day guided tour of Bohol. To be honest the day tour of Bohol with a designated driver ends up working out the best option as he can drop and leave you off in a load of places, I believe in the long run this will be cheaper and less time consuming than trying to see all the same places using public transport. Honestly. Plus if you’re on a tight timescale you can bung a lot in, and avoid getting lost.
Your entrance ticket to the Tarsier Centre also includes a free postcard of the animal itself!
On arrival at the Tarsier Centre after getting your ticket (which comes with a free postcard), there will be a few guides to talk to you and explain to you about this creature. The way I seen it was it’s basically an odd looking mini monkey that lives in a tree and has big eyes. Hence my comparison to an ‘alien’ in the mould of the E.T. style non human.
The Tarsier up close! Mini Koala bear, alien or monkey? You decide!
You cannot touch it, but photos and close up shots are all fine and you will definitely enjoy this odd creature. It’s harmless. It sits there on a tree branch like a lazy koala.
The tarsier sits tame and lonely in its tree – worth seeing!
They are a rare breed so best looked after – we don’t want them to become extinct. On the day I visited, there were only about 7 of them in this centre, though obviously many more exist in the Philippines. This is a Philippines native primate, though not the smallest in the world. Apparently that’s an accolade owned by a lemur in Africa somewhere.
Go in, walk around, enjoy the animals and that’s it. You’re done. You can buy souvenirs and drinks there too as it’s full of tourists.