Shaggy Bear Monkey at Pattipola
The Shaggy Bear Monkey or the Highland Purple-faced Leaf Langur, (Semnopithecus vetulus monticola) is an endemic primate which is called "Walas Wadura" in Sinhalese language. It is very much similar to Western Purple-faced Leaf Monkey, another endemic species, Main difference is it has a heavy court comparing to it's low land relative. This is an adaption for the cold climate in the hills that they live.
The Shaggy Bear Monkey (Trachypithecus vetulus monticola) is considered as a sub-species of Semnopithecus vetulus long with North Wetzone Purple-Faced Langur (Trachypithecus vetulus nestor), Dry Zone Purple-Faced Langur (Trachypithecus vetulus philbricki) and the Wetzone Purple-Faced Langur (Trachypithecus vetulus vetulus) sub-species. One of the best place to see them is Horton Plains and Haggala Park.
I might have seen them roaming around Horton Plans on many visits I had to the area. But I haven't ever notice them. Those days all those monkeys were just the same for me. But the recently developed interest on wildlife has gain me some knowledge about them as well. On my last trip to Nuwara Eliya and the Horton Plains I was lucky to see few of them close to the forest bungalow at Pattipola. They were feeding on vegetable cultivations in the area. I m quite sure that farmers in the area considered them as pest.