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Off the Streets & Back to the Forest

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June 6th was the beginning of the Islamic fasting month and it was a rainy month again. Monkeys in rehabilitation are still with AFJ waiting on funding and permits for their release. Focus this month was on the monkey rehabilitation with lots of enrichment and observations.

Monkey Behaviour/Health:
Enrichment continued throughout the month with bamboo stuffed with bush food plus lots of caterpillars from the seasonal plagues providing lots of extra protein and monkey fun. 

From example reports on the 4th and 10th of June, the monkeys are interacting well with different pairs grooming and playing with each other. Louise still avoids all forms of aggression or hyperactive behavior by isolating herself in a corner of another section of enclosure but she is becoming more interactive often mutual grooming with Poppy. She is also getting better at foraging for food and not as timid in taking food. Mario was allowing others to groom him and Oscar was showing sexual behavior towards two other females; all indications of continued cohesion as a group. (see photos and video)

Update on Monkey Street Performance (Topeng Monyet)  Investigation and Campaign:

This month was the fasting month for most of the Indonesian population so many volunteers left to return home to their families, which meant we had a new intake of staff. Thus, the education focus was on training new staff to feed, observe, and make enrichments for our rehabilitation monkeys.

Campaign and Investigation:
Focus on preparing educational materials including puppet show, brochures and social media updates to get people to report any monkey performer sightings.

Reported Sightings:
Due to the Ramadan fasting month, there were no sightings reported this month.

afj jja16 1July:

Mid July saw the end of the fasting month which meant millions of students and workers and their families left Yogyakarta to go back to their hometowns for the annual holidays. So, it was a quiet month on the streets for Dancing Monkeys performers. New staff members were kept busy evwery night keeping the animals calm amid all the fireworks and crackers being let off all month. Monkeys were very unsettled as fireworks were being let of nightly on both sides of the river making them very stressed. The sooner they are back in the forest, the better.

Monkey Behaviour/Health:  
Monkeys continued to progress now spending most of their time off the ground, which is a requisite for their safety on release. With new workers and volunteers on the scene, enrichment was a focus this month to ensure the monkeys are getting plenty of foraging practice.

Update on Monkey Street Performance (Topeng Monyet)  Investigation and Campaign:

22 – 29 July, Net TV sent a film production crew to AFJ to create a documentary on AFJ that will be aired in September. Though the focus is on domestic animals, we will also mention the Stop Dancing Monkey Performance Campaign and our Of the Streets and Back to the Forest Monkey Rehabilitation Program.

30 July, Tattoo Istimewa Festival was held - a government sponsored tattoo charity event and one female tattoo artist ‘Lois’, held a stall to raise awareness about AFJ’s monkey program. She raised over Rp700.000 and also promoted our campaign to end performing monkeys in the region. 

Campaign and Investigation:
July also saw a new intake of volunteers for our three month training program attended a workshop to learn about AFJ programs including our monkey rehabilitation program and stop dancing monkey performance campaign.   The focus was on the need for data on monkey performances. They also learnt about how to document the performers and assist with investigations.

After the training, the new volunteers went to investigate a report of a monkey on a leash that was reported in June by a foreign student. Unfortunately the monkey was no longer there so the volunteers did not take any further action but plan to check again after the fasting month holidays end. They continued on to investigate the monkeys being sold at the local animal market. They were able to find take video evidence of several monkeys including some with injuries that did not appear to be treated. They also found out that the trader had got the monkeys from a breeder in Bali and he sold them with a price ranging from 450.000 for a seven month monkey to 650.000 for one with lighter coloured fur (see videos attached)  *Note for further investigation, to check whether the vet had been to see the monkeys injured and whether the seller had a permit to bring the monkeys from Bali, which is a rabies zone. 

Still no word from the government on our request to consult on the issue of monkey perfomers.

Reported Sightings: 
No sightings reported, contributable to the fasting month, national holidays and constant rain.

afj jja16 6August

After the annual holidays, the monkey performers began again and we had some sightings this month, though not many due to the rain. Education and fund raising to release our monkeys were the primary focus in August 

Monkey Behaviour/Health: 
Monkeys received lots of fresh bush food this month, with plenty of bugs due to the rain. All monkeys were in good condition. Despite staff training, we had one incident of a monkey getting loose after one of the new staff members forgot to close the lock on a door.  Luckily after placing food in the enclosure, Oscar soon went back in to eat and the disaster of him running away or getting into the dog section was averted. Of course the staff member felt terrible but it was a good lesson learnt. He won’t be forgetting to lock the cage again.

Update on Monkey Street Performance (Topeng Monyet)  Investigation and Campaign:

On the 2nd of August AFJ did a radio program on a local radio station called Children Love Animals with a focus on performing monkeys. We talked about why these performances are not good entertainment and described the cruelty associated with the practice. We also highlighted the disease threat to children and asked listeners to report any sightings to us to help in our advocacy to the government to stop the performers in Jogja.

Plans are underway for DEED (Drink Eat Empower Donate) with the new volunteer group intake having meetings to organize the event, with a focus on socializing the stop monkey performers campaign and raising money for the monkey release project.

A monkey brochure is being edited to hand out in areas where monkey performers often go.

The monkey puppet show equipment is still being made.

Campaign and Investigation: 
20/08/16 Sighting of wild monkey with chain around neck and wound where it was entering the flesh at the front of the neck. Sighting was at Tlogo Putri near Merapi Volcano National Park, by Australian tourists. Pictures taken and report sent to AFJ by Marcel and Alice Van der Harst. Plans are underway to release chain from monkey’s neck, contacting vets to find one that will help out and consulting with JAAN on best methods to capture this wild monkey.

24/08/16 A member of the public contacted AFJ and asked for help to treat and relocate a female monkey. There were two monkeys in small cage on the side of busy road. The male had attacked the female and she was suffering open wounds. After investigating, the person reporting the case found out that the owners had taken the monkeys as babies, from Merapi Volcano after the eruption. (We don’t know what happened to the parents if they were around or not). They were no longer interested in caring for them as they had gotten aggressive so they put them along the side of the road and just fed them only. 

The person reporting said she would look after the monkey but needed help to find a vet to help treat the wounds. On the 26th AFJ provided monkey handling equipment and located a local vet (Dr Aniq) to check the monkey with assistance from our monkey observation volunteer, Nomen. Nomen assisted the vet in putting the monkeys to sleep and separating them. The vet then treated the female monkey’s wounds, which required stitches, before moving her to another cage. The rescuer paid for the vet out of her own funds. 

The female monkey was then relocated to the rescuers home where she could care for it until it could be moved to a larger enclosure. As she had no experience with monkey care, AFJ assisted with dietary and handling advice. She will have to provide the monkey with a more suitable diet then slowly transition her to a natural bush food diet. AFJ also urged the rescuer to provide the monkey with a larger cage. She had placed the monkey in a cat cage at the time and would need to move it to a more suitable enclosure. Unfortunately AFJ cannot take the monkey at this stage. The monkey also needs to be tested for blood borne viruses and parasites and get treatment if found positive. When the present group has been released and the enclosure has been repaired we will look at relocating the monkey to AFJ for group socialization and rehabilitation until the following group release.

Reported Sightings: 
14/08/16, At 7am after coming home from the market on Jl Jogokaryan  (See Video file attached  VID-20160814-WA0001.mp4  Report by Anun)

17/08/16, 12:37 – Report received Nomen WA: IMG-20160817-WA0009.jpg (file attached)


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