Stop the Torture of Macaque Monkeys in Jakarta
- Target: Governor of Jakarta
- Sponsored by: Jakarta Animal Aid Network
Topeng Monyet, or dancing monkeys, is a particularly cruel practice where juvenile macaques are forced to perform (dance, ride bicycles, wear masks) in the crowded and busy streets of Jakarta. An illegal trade in wild macaques that are captured from the wild has built up around the phenomena known as Topeng Monyet.
Street monkeys abused and humiliated: A Sunday Mirror investigation
Fear and pain etched across his face, a little monkey cries out as he grabs helplessly at a metal chain biting into his neck.
As he lets out a high-pitched scream a gang of men force him to stand up straight, laughing as they tighten the chain.
It is just one of a series of shocking images of the hell the monkeys endure in the slums of Jakarta in Indonesia, where they are forced to walk upright and wear costumes… all in the name of entertainment.
A Sunday Mirror investigation discovered the monkeys are also made to wear masks, hats and glasses to catch the eye of passing tourists.
If a visitor stops, the monkey is ordered by its owner to walk on his hands, sit on toy rocking horses or ride bicycles in the hope the tourist will hand over some loose change.
Other creatures are forced to simply beg. On one Jakarta street a monkey was found wearing a doll’s head mask, her suckling infant clinging to her as she begged for money at the side of a busy road.
The disturbing images were passed to us by the Jakarta Animal Aid Network, which went undercover to expose the cruelty the monkeys endure.
Their torment starts deep in the forests of Sumatra where the macaques, an endangered species of monkey, live.
Teams of poachers use sickening methods to trap them. The most popular one is to shoot the mother and then prise the clinging baby off her.
Baby macaques are preferred as they have a longer life as performers. The poachers are paid £2 for each monkey by dealers, who sell them on to street “entertainers” in Jakarta for £5 each.
It’s here the torture really begins. The monkeys are hung upside down so they learn how to walk upright. Chains are then clamped around their necks and they have to stand up straight or be punished.
The monkeys are starved and only fed when they obey to make sure they learn quickly. The highly-social primates are forced to live inside cramped wooden crates and can’t interact with each other, leading them to become deeply disturbed.
After being “trained” they are taken to tourist spots to “work”. Our revelations will put pressure on the Indonesian authorities to take action. But the illegal animal trade is a multi-million-dollar business. Femke Den Haas of JAAN said: “It is pitiful to watch how these monkeys dragged from the wild are tortured and condemned to a life of hell.”
Sarah Kite, of the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection, said: “Indonesia must act now.”
- Tweets that mention Stop the Torture of Macaque Monkeys in Jakarta | JAKARTA ANIMAL AID NETWORK -- Topsy.com