(ORDO NEWS) — Deprived of their favorite food source (bananas, peanuts and other goodies) that tourists usually bring with them, hungry monkeys in Bali began to raid villagers’ homes in search of food.
Locals say that gray long-tailed macaques came out of the sanctuary about 500 meters away to walk on the rooftops and wait for the right time to come down and have a bite. Hungry monkeys dive down and snatch food from the villagers.
People worried that the raids would escalate into an all-out monkey attack on the village, residents took food to the Sangeh Monkey Forest to try to calm the primates.
“We are afraid that the hungry monkeys will become wild and vicious,” said one of the local residents.
About 600 sacred macaques live in a forest reserve, swinging in trees and jumping around the famous Pura Bukit Sari temple.
Tourism is the main source of income for the four million people in Bali, who hosted more than five million foreign visitors every year before the pandemic.
The Sangeh Monkey Forest averaged about 6,000 visitors a month, but as the pandemic spread last year and international travel plummeted, that number dropped to about 500.
Since July of this year, Indonesia has banned foreign tourists from visiting the island and closed the sanctuary to local residents. The reserve has lost its income and now it runs out of money to buy food for the monkeys.
Donations from the villagers helped a little, but they are also feeling the economic downturn and are gradually giving less and less food.
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