A number of people seemed enthusiastic about taking pictures in front of the statue of the proboscis monkey mascot on Jalan Captain Piere Tendean Banjarmasin on Thursday (7/1) afternoon. They are looking for the best side so that the 6.5 meter tall statue can be fully seen as a photo background.
When ANTARA asked some of the residents who were busy taking pictures if they had ever seen the primate figure endemic to Kalimantan Island, all of them unanimously answered no. In fact, all of them are natives of the city of Banjarmasin who claim to want to see firsthand "the Dutch monkey" with reddish-brown hair and long nose. It is ironic indeed, that local residents can't even meet proboscis monkeys, let alone people from outside the area who would like to see proboscis monkeys when visiting Bumi Lambung Mangkurat. Several years ago, proboscis monkeys had inhabited the Banjarmasin Mascot Park on Jalan AS Musyafa next to the Sabilal Muhtadin Grand Mosque in the middle of the city. At a location that can be called a mini zoo, visitors can see proboscis monkeys and several other animals. However, the concept has now changed to the Banua Traffic Education Park. Meanwhile, the zoo, which was relocated to Jalan Jahri Saleh, North Banjarmasin, has not attracted many visits because its location and conditions are not representative. Environmentalists at the proboscis monkey mascot statue at Siring Sungai Martapura in Banjarmasin. (ANTARA/SBI) According to the Chairperson of the Indonesian Proboscis Monkeys Foundation (SBI) Amalia Rezeki, the existence of the proboscis monkey mascot statue is very good as a medium of knowledge and education for the community, especially children about the proboscis monkey figure. "So this, you know, the animal that became the mascot of South Kalimantan. We must be proud and introduce it to the next generation," said Amel, Amalia Rezeki's nickname. Alluding to the desire of many people to see proboscis monkeys like in a zoo, according to Amel, zoos are actually good for educational facilities as well. However, the maintenance of proboscis monkeys while in the cage must be considered so as not to threaten the life of the primate who is known to be shy.