Fodor's Expert Review Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary
This unique facility provides a rare opportunity to check out the endangered and extremely odd-looking proboscis monkey. Found only on Borneo, it's recognizable by its potbelly and distinctive long, bulbous nose. The sanctuary spans hundreds of acres of mangrove forest that had previously been slated for development as an oil-palm plantation. The combination of plantations and deforestation has made the proboscis an endangered species; some estimates say fewer than 5,000 remain. Because of their specialized diet (proboscis monkeys break down their food in a complex digestive process—thus the big bellies), they can't be moved. Efforts are currently underway to protect more of the monkeys' habitat. At Labuk Bay, observation platforms allow good views of the proboscis, as well as silver langurs, maroon-leaf monkeys, and several bird species. The sanctuary is about an hour's drive from Sandakan.