Bowled Over by Bhutan - 2007

first Queen Elizabeth. Their bodies are covered with soft-looking, thick gray fur and the

pads on their hands and feet are black like their faces. We observed them for quite

some time as they dined on leaves and jumped from branch to branch with such elegant


Bhutan also supports Himalayan Spectacled Bears, Snow Leopards, tigers, and martens, but

we were never anywhere near where these rare and reclusive species would be found. There

are two other monkeys living in the primeval forests as well, like the beautiful Golden

Langur and the Rhesus Monkey, but we were not privileged to see them either. The Gray

Langurs do cause the farmers some trouble because they raid the fields. Scarecrows flap and

clap in the fields, more to scare the langurs away than the birds. There are small hut-like

structures on stilts in many fields so that when monkey predation on the crops becomes

too bold and too destructive, the farmer moves into the hut so that he can

physically prevent their depredations. Because of the Buddhist reverence for life, the

monkeys and birds are not maimed or killed, merely frightened away. What Buddhist can

be sure that the monkey he attacks is not a relative returned to life in a lower animal form?

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