Wed, Sep 04, 2019 - Page 14 News List

Monkey climbs power lines in feat of high wire derring-do
台灣獼猴怕過馬路被車撞 走電纜功夫了

An infant Formosan macaque hugs its mother while breast feeding, in a file photograph.

Photo courtesy of Monkey Land

Yang Chuan-feng, a teacher at Ershuei Junior High School in Changhua County, passes through the Songboling area everyday on his way to work, which borders Nantou and Changhua counties. On Friday last week Yang made use of the final day of the summer school holiday to bring his son and daughter on a walk from Ershuei Village back to their home in Caotun Township, Nantou County. During the journey, while passing through an orchard of dragon fruit in Mingjian Township, Yang suddenly spotted a Formosan macaque walk out of the orchard noshing on a dragon fruit. After looking left and right, the monkey charged across a road, leading the way for a young macaque, which zipped across the road in the path of the adult’s footsteps.

Yang and his children waited to see how a third macaque, which hadn’t crossed with the others, would navigate the crossing by itself. Then Yang’s son, an elementary school student, suddenly exclaimed: “The monkey is walking across the power line!” Yang and his daughter looked up to see the macaque nimbly negotiate a double set of overhead power lines, walking along the lower cable with its feet and gripping the upper cable with its hands. The dextrous monkey at times used just a single hand to cling on to the power line, occasionally switching between its left and right hands.

Next, as if its previous exertions were just a warm-up act, once the macaque was sure it had crossed the road, it leapt through mid air onto a large tree and then smoothly jumped down through the tree’s lower canopies before safely landing on the ground.

While filming the macaque’s progress, Yang and his two children let out gasps of admiration at its acrobatic feat, which they said was just like watching a tightrope act at a circus. Later on Yang uploaded the video to Facebook and netizens praised the macaque’s ability, with one person asking whether a naughty child had dressed up as a monkey. However, most commentators observed the plucky monkey was lucky not to have been electrocuted.

Yang said while filming the macaque he was constantly on tenterhooks, concerned it might receive an electric shock and said that they were all holding their breath while watching, finally letting out a collective sigh of relief when it had safely descended to the ground.

Not all monkeys are able to safely cross electric power lines. In the past, several monkeys in nearby Sinyi Township have been electrocuted while scaling overhead power lines, which can result in a power outage when the force from the electric shock rips a power line from its footings.

(Translated by Edward Jones, Taipei Times)








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