The villagers of Sangeh, one of the places attacked by monkeys, say that the long-tailed grey macaques ventured out of one of the “hosting” shrines to stop on the roofs of their homes and wait for the
Worried then that sporadic sporadic fates turn into a total assault of monkeys to the village, residents brought fruit, nuts and other food into the forest where they are used to reside the macaques of Sangeh to try to appease the
“We are afraid that hungry monkeys will become wild and fierce,” said a frightened villager.
About 600 macaques, considered sacred, live in the forest sanctuary, swinging from the tall nutmeg trees and jumping around the famous temple of Pura Bukit Sari.
In normal times, the protected jungle area in the southeast of the Indonesian island is a very popular area among local residents as well as among international visitors, who often attend it for photos or excursions. Apes, relatively docile, can be easily induced to sit on a shoulder or in the womb to immortalize them while taking one or two nuts.
The Sangeh Monkey Forest usually hosted around 6,000 visitors per month, but when the pandemic spread last year and international travels decreased dramatically, that number dropped to about 500, with a not only economical response (being the main source
Since Indonesia has banned all foreign travellers from entering, and also closed the sanctuary to local residents, not only the money that the Sanctuary officials used to buy food to feed monkeys, but also those extra snacks that the
“This prolonged pandemic is beyond our expectations,” said Made Mohon, head of the park, “Food for monkeys has become a real problem.”
Macacus is an omnivorous and although it may eat a variety of animals and plants found in the jungle, those in the forest of Sangeh have had too much contact with humans over the years to prefer other foods less “natural.”
In fact, monkeys often wander in villages and sit on roofs, occasionally removing tiles and dropping them to the ground, with the risk of hitting some people who are ill-headed. Waiting for the villagers to make daily religious food offerings on their terraces (as local costume requires) and then jump down, steal and escape into the jungle with the “mallop”.
Gustu Alit theorized that more than being hungry, they are bored. “That’s why I invited villagers to come to the forest to play with monkeys and offer them food. I think they need to interact with humans as often as possible so that they don’t become savages.”