Off the Streets and Back to the Forest
October was a busy month. We held some education programs and events where we included education on the cruelty of monkey performances and keeping monkeys as pets. Attached are some photos of our kids education program at Milas Green School where we did some education to teach them that monkeys belong in the forest and not performing in the street, and dolphins live in the sea and shouldn’t be in the circus, then played a fun game of returning (toy) animals to their habitats. This is a very effective way to end these cruel practices as the children can really feel the sorrow of these animals that are forced to work in captivity. In addition, this month AFJ received many reports in protest of a very public monkey performance at the Jogjakarta Expo Centre, which was stopped after AFJ protested to the event organizers. Meanwhile our rehabilitation monkeys began a more intensive observation period to check their readiness for life in the wild.
Monkey carers began longer observations using the new more detailed observation forms we received from JAAN this month (see photos and file with codes).
Date: 24 October 2015 Observation Officers: Lolita
“Throughout the observation, Entje and Mario groomed each other in the trees - 1-2 meters high - and did not change location much. Meanwhile Oscar and Poppy played and chased each other around quite a lot. When she wasn’t playing with Oscar, Poppy spent time grooming herself up in the trees. Louise didn’t interact much with the other monkeys. In fact she tended to avoid them when they came near and was down on the ground searching for food for quite a long time.”
Evaluation: All are progressing well as they need to spend most of the time in the trees. Louise again is the one monkey that is not interacting and spending time on the ground, which is dangerous in the wild. Hopefully she will show progress in the coming months.
Update on Monkey Street Performance (Topeng Monyet) Investigation and Campaign:
October saw an influx of reports of a monkey performer that had been hired by an event organizer as entertainment at a Traditional Food Festival that was being held to celebrate all things related to Yogyakarta culture. Shockingly the event organizers had incorporated the monkey performance for the duration of the festival, which was held over five days in October. Numerous reports of the monkey performance came in from the public through our instagram, email, facebook and twitter accounts, highlighting the concern of community members over the exploitation of the monkey that was performing for hours on end with seemingly no access to water or food. AFJ went to investigate the reports and request that the organizers end the performances on the grounds that they were not educational, posed health risks both to the monkey and humans due to the close interaction between them, and also contravened Indonesian laws on cruelty to animals. As a result, the EO apologized and stopped the monkey performances.
Here are just a couple of extracts (translated into English) from the many reports received:
On Thursday afternoon 22nd October at 2pm, I went to the Traditional Food Festival … After buying my ticket I was about to enter and was totally shocked that the committee had organized a monkey performer to ‘greet’ the visitors. I was so sad that I didn’t think to take photos or a video. I just saw it and wanted to cry so I quickly entered the hall. Please AFJ take action. Poor monkey. (Emailed report)
Today (24 Oct), my younger sibling and I went to the Traditional Food Festival. We were surprised and very shocked to see this in front of the entrance… Words escape me that creatures of the forest such as this could be sponsored to perform and entertain visitors. Social media is full of reports on animal abuse but still we see this in amongst all the crowds. Shouldn’t this be categorized as animal abuse??... (Instagram report with photo)
Documented Monkey Performance/Captive Monkey Sightings October 2015
20 Oct 2015 : Received report of monkey being kept in small cage in front of a home on the outskirts of Jogja. Have asked for follow up information from person reporting this monkey. (Email report by Felli. (See photos.)
20 Oct 2015 : A volunteer spotted a report on another social media site of a complaint of monkeys stealing crops. This report was not to AFJ but the volunteer will try and follow up.
22-26 Oct 2015 : Topeng monyet performance reported at Jogja Expo Centre (JEC). See report above.
29 Oct 2015: Monkey performer sighted travelling on a motorcycle with monkey in colored box nearby Candi Gebang, Condongcatur. Report did not include photo as they were on motorbike when they saw it. (Whatsapp report by Dila)