Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Visit Malaysia Year 2014 Mascot: The Proboscis Monkey

They have huge noses, big bellies and live in groups. They are not your ordinary tree swinging monkeys and they don’t eat ripe bananas. They have webbed feet and are able to swim. We are talking about the proboscis monkey – a rare and endangered animal found primarily in Borneo and predominantly in Sabah.

Malaysia will be hosting the Visit Malaysia Year (VMY) in 2014, the nation’s biggest and grandest tourism celebration that welcomes the world to see, feel and experience the endless possibilities of the country.

This is the best time to witness and experience dazzling parades and processions, colourful cultural shows and exhibitions, fabulous food festivals, exciting sports and adventure, enchanting music and arts festival, shopping extravaganza, nature thrills and spills and many more.

A unique mascot is vital to create a visual impact and easy association with VMY 2014 among the locals and tourists alike. In the past, the orang utan, leatherback turtle and hornbill were used to promote Visit Malaysia Year and state-level tourism campaigns.

For VMY 2014, a new animal mascot is needed in order to trigger more excitement and anticipation of this grand celebration.

The Ministry of Tourism & Culture Malaysia has decided to use one of the most endangered animals in the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species as the mascot for VMY 2014 – the proboscis monkey.

Aptly known as the long-nosed monkey, the proboscis monkey best encapsulates the essence of Malaysia Truly Asia. This elusive monkey belongs to the Asian langurs and is the only member of the Nasalis genus. Proboscis monkeys are primarily found in Borneo particularly in Sabah, Malaysia.

Like the diversity encapsulated in the Malaysia Truly Asia branding, proboscis monkeys also possess diverse skills. They frequently leap from tree limbs and hit the water with a comical belly flop, as well as attract their mate with their unusually large and long nose.

The proboscis monkey also has webbed feet, which enable it to swim. In fact, proboscis monkeys are fairly good swimmers. Naturally, they have always been crowd pullers especially for eco-adventure tourists who would not miss a chance to catch a glimpse of this monkey.