Without tourists alms, hungry Bali monkeys attack their homes

Holy, Indonesia (AP)-Deprived of their favorite food sources-bananas, peanuts and other delicious things brought by tourists, they are now turned away by the coronavirus-hungry in the resort of Bali The monkeys have begun to attack the villagers’ homes in search of good food.

Villagers in Sanchi Said that the gray long-tailed macaque has ventured out of the reserve about 500 meters (yards) away, wandering on the roof, waiting for the right time to dive down and grab snacks.

Fearing that sporadic outings will escalate into full-scale monkey attacks on the village, residents have been bringing fruits, peanuts and other food to Sanji Monkey Forest to try to appease the primates.

“We are afraid that hungry monkeys will become savage and cruel,” the villager Saskara Gustu Alit Said.

About 600 macaques live in the forest reserve. They swing from tall nutmeg trees and jump around the famous Pura Bukit Sari temple, which are considered sacred.

In normal times, the jungle reserve in the southeast of the Indonesian island is very popular with local residents and international tourists. Relatively docile monkeys are easily coaxed to eat a peanut or two on their shoulders or knees.

Generally, tourism is the main source of income for the 4 million residents of Bali. Before the pandemic, Bali received more than 5 million foreign tourists every year.

Sangeh Monkey Forest usually has about 6,000 visitors per month, but with the spread of the pandemic last year and the sharp decline in international travel, this number has dropped to about 500.

Since Indonesia banned all foreign tourists from entering the island in July and closed the shelter to local residents, there has been no one.

Operation manager Made Mohon said that not only does this mean that no one brings extra food for the monkeys, the sanctuary also loses the entrance fee, and the money to buy food for them is running out.

He said that the villagers’ donations helped, but they also felt the economic pressure and gradually reduced.

“This protracted pandemic has exceeded our expectations,” Mohong said. “Monkey food has become a problem.”

Mohon said the food cost of 200 kg (440 lb) of cassava (monkey’s staple food) and 10 kg (22 lb) of bananas is about 850,000 rupiah (US$60) per day.

Rhesus monkeys are omnivorous animals and can eat all kinds of plants and animals found in the jungle, but over the years, the macaques in the Sanger Monkey Forest have had enough contact with humans, and they seem to prefer other things.

They are not afraid to take matters into their own hands, Allit Said.

Monkeys often wander into the village, sit on the roof, and occasionally remove the tiles and throw them on the ground. When the villagers sacrificed food on their terraces every day, the monkeys would jump down and run away with them.

“A few days ago, I attended a traditional ceremony at a nearby temple. Sanchi Forest,” Allit Said. “When I parked the car and took out two plastic bags with food and flowers as offerings, two monkeys suddenly appeared, grabbed them, and ran into the forest quickly.”

Usually, monkeys interact with tourists all day long-steal sunglasses and water bottles, pull clothes, jump on their shoulders-and Allit In theory, they are not only hungry, they are also bored.

“That’s why I urged the villagers here to play with the monkeys in the forest and give them food,” he Said. “I think they need to interact with humans as much as possible, lest they become wild.”

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Karmini reports from Jakarta. The Associated Press writer in Bangkok, David Rising contributed to this report.

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