Proboscis monkey

(Nasalis larvatus)


Proboscis monkey IUCN ENDANGERED (EN)


Facts about this animal

The most distinctive feature of the proboscis monkey is the elongated nose which is pendulous in males and upturned in females. It is a big monkey, reaching a head-body length of 73-76 cm in males and 61-64 cm in females, and a body-weight of up to 23.5 kg in males and 8-11.7 kg in females. The tail is very long, measuring 66-67 cm in males and 55-62 cm in feamles.


The colour of face and coat is brick-red. There is a cap of dark red hair on the crown. The arms and legs are greyish, hands and feet buffy-white, and the tail creamy-white with a blackish tip.


The infant's face is deep blue at birth, becoming slaty-grey in about three months.


Proboscis monkeys are diurnal, but most active during early morning and late afternoon when leaving or moving to sleeping sites. They are mostly arboreal but will swimm across rivers or walk across open areas to reach isolated patches of forest.


The diet includes leaves, fruit and shoots.

Did you know?
That local people referred to these large monkeys with their potbellies and red noses as 'Dutch monkeys' as they were considered such a caricature of the Dutch sailors and plantation owners of the former Dutch East Indies, today's Indonesia?


Suborder SIMIAE
Name (Scientific) Nasalis larvatus
Name (English) Proboscis monkey
Name (French) Nasique ou Long nez
Name (German) Nasenaffe
Name (Spanish) Mono Narigudo
CITES Status Appendix I
CMS Status Not listed



Photo Copyright by
Frank Wouters



Range Borneo
Habitat Lowland rainforest and mangrove forest. Seldom encountered in pure stands of nipah, Casuarina coastal heath or swamp forest.
Wild population About 7'000 (WWF)
Zoo population 16 reported to ISIS (2006)

In the Zoo

Proboscis monkey


How this animal should be transported

For air transport, Container Note 31 of the IATA Live Animals Regulations should be followed.


Find this animal on ZooLex


Photo Copyright by
Bjørn Christian Tørrissen

Why do zoos keep this animal

The proboscis monkey is endangered in the wild due to loss of habitat through conversion to agricultural land and logging, and uncontrolled hunting, and is listed in CITES Appendix I. Keeping and breeding this attractive species would, therefore, be of major interest. However, outside their natural range it is difficult to satisfy the nutritional requirements of this species, and consequently proboscis monkeys are hardly ever kept outside of South-East Asia.