Let’s face it, we all love to see some cute wildlife when we travel. Even if we visit zoos, there are some animals that we just can’t get enough of. Asia is probably the best continent on the planet in this regard, as it has its fair share of these cute animals. Here are 5 of the most huggable! Say “awwww”…
5. Snow Monkeys (Japanese Macaques) frequent the northern parts of Honshu in Japan all year round, even in summer. They get their name because they live in areas where snow covers the ground for months each year – no other nonhuman primate is more northern-living, nor lives in a colder climate.
Best place to see them? Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park, Japan.
4. Tarsiers are small animals with enormous eyes; each eyeball is approximately 16mm in diameter and is as large as its entire brain. The unique cranial anatomy of the tarsier results from the need to balance their large eyes and heavy head so they are able to wait silently for nutritious prey.
Best place to see them? Tangkoko Nature Reserve, Sulawesi, Indonesia.
3. Snow leopards inhabit alpine and subalpine zones at elevations from 3,000 to 4,500m. In the northern range countries, they also occur at lower elevations. The snow leopard is solitary, except for females with cubs. They rear them in dens in the mountains for extended periods. An individual snow leopard lives within a well-defined home range, but does not defend its territory aggressively when encroached upon by other snow leopards.
Best place to see them? They are probably too rare to see on your travels, but the Tibetan Plateau would be a good opportunity.
2. Red Pandas are native to the eastern Himalayas and southwest China. It has reddish-brown fur, a long, shaggy tail, and a waddling gait due to its shorter front legs, and is slightly larger than a domestic cat. It is arboreal, feeds mainly on bamboo, but also eats eggs, birds, insects. It is a solitary animal, mainly active from dusk to dawn, and is largely sedentary during the day.
Best place to see them? Yunnan Province, China.
1. Slow Lorises must surely rank as the cutest animal in all of Asia – but this cuteness is getting them killed! Due in part to the large eyes that are an adaptation to their nocturnal lifestyle, the Slow Loris have been popularised as pets in viral videos online. They have their teeth cut or pulled out for the pet trade, and often die from infection, blood loss, and inadequate nutrition.
Best place to see them? The rainforests of north and central Sumatra, Indonesia.