I work here in suburban Bali, Indonesia next to a Balinese family’s small store. One day a couple months ago this family bought a baby monkey from the supposedly illegal animal market in Denpasar (the capitol of Bali). I have yet to visit this market but I will be sure to film it when I do. This family decided to twist some heavy gauge wire together and put a plastic sheath over part of it before fastening it around this monkey’s neck and chaining it to a piece of cement.
In the beginning they would tie the monkey up to the front of the store where he could interact with people passing by during the day and at night they would take the monkey home to their house not far away. Now they just leave it tied to the chunk of cement in the alley behind their store, day and night. Fortunately he is able to slip under a nearby door or he would be dead already from one of the mangy dogs that wander the streets at night.
First off, selling wild animals on the open market is wrong! They shoot the mother monkey in the jungle and when the dead mom falls to the jungle floor they pull the screaming baby off the dead mother, then sell these trembling creatures in the busy city streets. Every time an ignorant person buys an animal they go get another one from the jungle. Monkeys and other wild animals are not meant to be pets kept in a cage…maybe if the cage is big enough to contain a large piece of jungle and they have others to interact with, but alone in a cage is FKUCD. There are a lot of people with these “brown eyed love affairs” in Bali, some of which are care givers for monkeys who, after being bought, have been neglected then rejected, and there are others who have bought them as pets and it’s just a matter of time before they have to give them up because they become aggressive. I have been told that monkeys become sexually frustrated in their old age and they start to bite and become dangerously aggressive.
If I’m not mistaken this monkey is a Wetlands Toque Macaque from Sumatra, and is the same species as the one I watched for a few months. The monkey I watched was a rescued monkey and I watched for her while her care taker was off the island. She required constant attention and was always running around or hanging on me. I hated to put her in her cage as she would just run circles and shriek constantly. They’re social creatures and suffer when they’re alone. Of course I had to cage her when leaving the house for her safety, but most the time she just ran free in my house and she was quick to destroy everything I had forgotten to monkey proof.
Back to this little guy tied up with wire around his neck. When he gets startled he bolts and hangs himself when the rope reaches its end. It’s sad to watch but there is nothing I can do as I can not offend these Balinese people for many important reasons. As I can do nothing, I am searching for someone to come at night and steal this little guy away, preferably making it look like an escape. I’ve been these captive monkeys won’t survive if put back in the wild, but he’s still very young and I would like to think it’s possible.
As I’m writing this my coworker just told me that he heard from his office this monkey screaming and a couple of barking dogs. He came out to find a couple of stray dogs on both sides of him barking wildly. The monkey was covered in dog saliva he said. My coworker scared off the dogs and moved the cement block to a position where he can get up on something. He may be safe from stray dogs at the moment there but is not safe from the local water monitors which can grow big enough to eat a pig. Who knows what happens over night…maybe the problem will solve itself.
It’s either set him free, let him live a miserable existence, let him get eaten or redrum him. What do you think??