A Picnic with PrimatesBack
Polonnaruwa, the ancient capital of Sri Lanka is renowned for its evocative ruins that speak volumes about the island’s colorful history. However, it is a little-known fact that this lost city is home to a massive monkey population living among its millennia-old ruins. These primates of Polonnaruwa were featured in Disney’s intriguing documentary film ‘Monkey Kingdom’. Meet Dr. Wolfgang Dittus, a much-decorated American primatologist or one of his colleagues who have been conducting research activities about the monkey population in Polonnaruwa for over 50 years, and learn about the unseen behavioral aspects of monkeys and the conservation work carried out by the Monkey Camp.
Meet your host, Dr Dittus or one of his fellow researchers from the Smithsonian Primate Research Center at the Primate Centre Lodge, sharp at noon. The Primate Centre Lodge is located in close proximity to one of the great tanks in Polonnaruwa that stands still with occasional ripples created by the soothing wind. Learn about the special behavioral aspects of Sri Lanka’s dry zone diurnal primates – grey langur, purple-faced leaf monkey and toque macaque – and the significance of conserving their natural habitats despite the emerging crisis of human-monkey conflict. As you enjoy your picnic lunch, your host will explain about the efforts of the Smithsonian Primate Research Center in conserving the monkey community in the island’s dry zone and promoting sustainable solutions for effective wildlife management.