Off the Streets and Back to the Forest
The last two months of 2015 were busy with observations of the rehabilitation monkeys to evaluate their readiness for release scheduled for December. However, AFJ decided to delay the release due to a number of factors, including the need for professional support for release and waiting on timid monkey Louise to gain more confidence within the group.
On the education front, AFJ was invited to make a presentation on Animal Friendly Tourism at the Nusantara Tourism Awareness Roadshow held by Indo Travel Magz on 21 November 2015. Tour group reps and guides watched the AFJ Animal Friendly Tourism powerpoint then senior AFJ volunteer Bobby spoke about the many ways in which tourists can help end the suffering of working animals in Indonesia by not supporting animal exploitation, such as dancing masked monkey performers. Participants kept Bobby busy asking questions and the response was very positive with many guides not even realizing that the events that were included in tours were actually exploiting animals.
Dates: 29 November/3 December Observation Officers: Lolita / Molly and Marsha
Report Summaries: Louise and Entje did not interact a lot the last two months. However, Oscar is always busy searching for objects to play with both alone and also with the other monkeys. This indicates, Oscar will probably take a more lead role in helping to find food/water in the wild for the group. He tends to try to dominate Poppy and Entje, and even the older monkey, Mario, who should actually be the alpha due to seniority, but due to the extreme trauma he suffered in the past, has not stepped up for the role. Mario is happy to spend his days quietly grooming himself and the other monkeys, allowing Oscar to take the lead. All monkeys are spending most of their time in the trees/enrichments above ground except for feeding and water and run up and away when they fear something. This is an encouraging indication that they will be ready to live above ground in the wild and evade danger when present. Release is coming soon. Very exciting!
Update on Monkey Street Performance (Topeng Monyet) Investigation and Campaign:
In November, monkey performers were sighted at a popular Sunday morning market held near a local university. A twitter campaign was carried out to encourage more people to report the monkey performances and ‘Stop Performing Monkeys’ was highlighted on our regular radio talk back program on Pro2 FM.
In December, AFJ’s program manager (Dessy) drafted another government campaign to lobby for more government support to stop the monkey performers. The proposal will be handed to the government and released to press in January 2016.
Documented Monkey Performance/Captive Monkey Sightings November/December 2015:
8 Nov 2015 Report of monkey performer at Sunday morning market near UGM university received. Require further investigation to see if this is regular performer and report to UGM/government if so. (Photo and Video taken by volunteer Uci)
25 Nov 2015 Received email report of monkey being used to promote a restaurant in Jogjakarta. Monkey is chained to a tree outside the entrance of restaurant with no visible shelter, food or water. Damai has been asked to assist in investigation (take photographs, request further information) currently awaiting data to continue investigation (emailed report but no photo included)