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Sunday, August 08, 2010

Bohol: Chocolate Hills and Tarsiers

The Chocolate Hills is one of the most famous tourist destinations in Bohol.

To the dismay of all chocolate lovers, the chocolate hills aren't made of actual chocolate. (Aww.) They are actually formed from the uplift of coral deposits from rain water and erosion.
The total number of Chocolate Hills were counted to have reached 1,776. They are named Chocolate Hills because during the dry summer season, they are dried up and turns to color brown. I guess Chocolate Hills just sound catchier and more inviting than say, Brown Hills.

Our visit to the Chocolate Hills was super short due to the tight schedule of our trip, but we were still able to enjoy the view albeit only for a few minutes.

After viewing the Chocolate Hills, we went on to take a peek of the cute and rare Tarsier. In the Philippines, it can only be found in Bohol. Other areas where the Tarsier can be found are in Borneo (Brunei), Sulawesi, and Sumatra.

The size of a Tarsier is very small - smaller than a clenched fist. They are very delicate that only the owners can hold them. The Tarsiers that we visited weren't in a zoo or any animal keeping area. They were just in a private house where a special living environment was created for them.

Although Tarsiers are considered to be endangered species, households are still allowed to keep some in their homes. In fairness to the owners, they seem to take care of the Tarsiers pretty well.

All of the Tarsiers are placed in their living habitat which mostly twigs and leaves. Amazingly they aren't kept in cages just in open rooms where the Tarsiers don't seem inclined to escape.

Here are some shots of the Tarsiers when they were still awake. Most of the others have fallen asleep while still hanging on the twigs. 4 in the afternoon, it seems, is Tarsier sleeping time.

The owners feed these Tarsiers with live worms. The worms are pierced with barbecue sticks and handed to the Tarsiers which they readily munched on.


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