Dancing monkeys tortured and forced to perform for tourists, now banned in Jakarta and West Java

Every year, thousands of baby monkeys are taken away from the Indonesian forests and forced to perform tricks for tourists, which leaves them traumatized even after being rescued—like this monkey named Dodo.

In October 2016, The Dodo reported the harrowing tale of a baby macaque, named Dodo, that was fortunately rescued by the Jakarta Animal Aid Network (JAAN). With help from the police, the JAAN workers found Dodo in Bangung, West Java Province, with a metal chain around his neck and performing on wooden stilts whenever his handler pulled the chain.

After Dodo was rescued, Femke den Haas, co-founder of JAAN, referring to the poor animal’s plight, said: “Dodo was in very poor condition. He was very, very depressed, as if the life had been beaten out of him. He didn’t give any happy reaction to anything, except for food.”

“For the rest of the time during meals, Dodo would sit depressed in a corner of the cage, despite all efforts of the caretakers to keep him busy and happy with enrichments.”

Dodo was one of the many so called “dancing monkeys” in Indonesia that are forced to perform tricks like playing instruments, riding bikes, or doing acrobatic tricks. Their handlers also dress them up in clothes and make them wear rubber masks made from old doll heads.

In order to get them to do what they want, the handlers train them cruelly. They first tie their arms behind their backs and hang them by their necks so as to force them to stand straight like a human. If they try to climb along their attached chain or sit down, they will choke themselves to death. The handlers also use hunger and pain to teach them to perform tricks.

The training process lasts up to six hours a day and takes four to six months to complete. The monkey will then perform for five to ten years before it is sold off for its meat, as by that time, it becomes too aggressive. As for the metal chain on its neck, it will never be taken off and this can lead to serious infections as it digs into the monkey’s skin.

It is estimated that over 3,000 baby monkeys are snatched from their mothers in the Indonesian forests every year and sold to universities or international pharmaceutical groups for research purposes, sold as pets in wildlife markets, or used as dancing monkeys.

Since 2009, the JAAN has been campaigning for a ban on dancing monkeys and was successful in 2013 in obtaining a ban in Jakarta. In 2016, the ban also came into effect in the West Java Province.

Organizations like JAAN are doing all they can to end this inhumane treatment of animals.

Watch Dodo’s story below:

Photo credit: Facebook | Jakarta Animal Aid Network (JAAN).

 
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