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At first glance, you’d think that you’re looking at the world’s smallest monkey, but the tarsier with its big, beautiful brown eyes is actually a cousin of the lemur. Nowadays, the non-profit organization of Philippine Tarsier Foundation Incorporated (PTFI) is dedicated in preserving and these fist-size creatures that once served as inspiration for Steven Spielberg’s blockbuster movie – The Extra Terrestrial (E.T.).

Located in Tagbilaran, Bohol, the foundation – in an effort to pursue the preservation of these creatures – are trying to attract tourists while simultaneously installing rules that would not agitate the animals. For their size, the Philippine tarsier is extra sensitive to attention and captivity. When depressed or agitated, they are likely to commit suicide and can sometimes be shocked by the flash of a camera. PTFI is involved in all activities relating to the Philippine tarsier, from cataloguing activity to maintaining connection with the multitude of organizations within the same interests.

Under the PTFI is the Tarsier Research and Development Center which handles most of the tourism side of the organization. A reservation covering more than seven hectares of land serves as a haven for these creatures wherein visitors are more than welcome. In the sanctuary, visitors are given the option of either viewing the animals through enclosures or in their natural habitat. Watching them in their natural habitat would mean going through the tarsier trail where one could actually come face-to-face with this furry nocturnal. Pictures are allowed as long as it is done quietly so as not to disturb their daytime sleeping. The trek itself is exhilarating and exciting, with the possibility of seeing not only the sensitive tarsier but other forms of wildlife.

The foundation also offers souvenirs within its territory, an exhibit room and even an audio-visual room, making a visit to the tarsier site and experience of a lifetime.

philippine tarsier foundation | philippines tarsier | ptfi | steven spielberg e.t. inspirat

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