Monday, October 28, 2013

Indonesian City Trying To End Masked Monkey Shows


Indonesia's capital is getting rid of the monkey business.

Security forces are conducting raids to rescue macaques used in masked monkey performances on Jakarta's streets.

The order came from Jakarta Gov. Joko Widodo, better known as "Jokowi," who wants all roadside monkey performances — known here as topeng monyet — gone by next year.

He said that besides improving public order and stopping animal abuse, the move is aimed at preventing diseases carried by the monkeys.

The city government will buy back all monkeys used as street buskers for about $90 and shelter them at a 1-hectare (2.5-acre) preserve at Jakarta's Ragunan Zoo. The handlers and caretakers will be provided vocational training to help find new jobs.

Animal rights groups have long campaigned for a ban on the shows, which often involve monkeys wearing plastic baby doll heads on their faces. They say the monkeys are hung from chains for long periods to train them to walk on their hind legs like humans. Their teeth are pulled so they can't bite, and they are tortured to remain obedient. The monkeys are often outfitted in dresses and cowboy hats and forced to carry parasols or ride tiny bikes.



Full story here.
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