There would be no monkeying about around The Prince of Wales on Tuesday. The heir to the throne toured an 80-ft metal treetop walkway overlooking MacRitchie Reservoir Park in Singapore.
The “monkey guard” or monkey minder is a ranger responsible for keeping mischievous primates away from tourists and their belongings as they walk across the walkway that provides them with an excellent view of the rainforest below. The monkeys invade belongings in search of food, and the ranger uses a long stick to keep them away.
Charles declared the experience “marvellous.” He later said that he hoped the work of the rangers wouldn’t be in vain. The Prince hoped their work would eventually convince the public to care for the natural environment before it was too late. He also expressed his fear that the wider public wasn’t appreciative of our world’s natural resources.
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“That’s why this is of such great importance,” he added. “You do very well in Singapore. I hope you get the message across.
“I’m so grateful to you, it’s marvellous.”
For 20 years, William Ng has worked as a ranger. Before The Prince’s arrival, he personally went along the walkway with a long stick to ensure no primate rascals would bother him.
“There were two nuisance ones hanging round so we had to chase them,” he said. “They try to steal things from the public so we need to make sure they don’t come down to the Prince.”
Asked by The Telegraph if he felt nervous about his role, he added: “We were successful. I’ve been doing this job for 20 years so the wildlife is just part and parcel.
“We don’t want them [monkeys] to disturb the public because they pose a danger. We need to stop the public feeding them and advise them to keep away.
“There’s a nice view of them from a distance, and that is definitely safer.”
The Prince was also shown a bronzeback snake, which he duly admired. Four students were waiting to walk the narrow walkway and were delighted and surprised to meet a “mystery guest.”
‘”I’m so sorry, have I kept you waiting?” the Prince asked when he saw them at the foot of the walkway. “I’ll be quick, I promise.”‘
Charles then stopped and posed for a photo with the group where he asked them about their time in Singapore and knowledge of local wildlife.
The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall later attended a reception and dinner at the Presidential Palace.