With the tourism industry being shaken up throughout the globe, Bali is no exception. With barely any tourists, the effects can be seen particularly on the population of monkeys in Bali, where they are now resorting to raiding the homes of villagers in search of some tasty snacks.
Tourism and Monkeys
Previously, monkeys in Bali would get their fair share of yummy treats from tourists, such as peanuts and bananas. However, with a loss of tourists, the villagers in Sangeh are now reporting that the population of grey macaques is now staking out the roofs of villagers in hopes of swooping in and snatching any snacks that the villagers might be holding.
The Villagers In Sangeh Are Afraid
As more and more monkeys are raiding villagers, there is no surprise that the people are worried that the situation might escalate and turn into a full attack and raid. Saskara Gutsu claims that they are afraid the monkeys, due to their hunger, will turn vicious and wild. So, to help ease the situation, the villagers are taking peanuts and fruits into the Sangeh Money Forest to appease the monkeys.
The Forest Sanctuary
This forest sanctuary houses around six hundred macaques and can be seen swinging around the sacred Pura Bukit Sari temple. This forest is normally a trendy destination for locals as well as tourists. Here the monkeys used to be tame and could even be coaxed to sit on people’s laps for a simple snack, such as a peanut. With tourism being the primary industry of Bali, which was known to host more than five million tourists every year, there is no surprise that the recent drop has led to a variety of issues. The Sangeh Monkey forest alone was known to be visited by around six thousand tourists every month. However, this number has taken a steep plunge, all the way to just 500 visitors.
The Effects of The Pandemic
According to Made Mohon, the operations manager, with just 500 visitors, not only have the monkeys lost a major source of good food, but the sanctuary itself has had to suffer significant losses with a cut down in income generated from admission fees. This means that the sanctuary now has a much smaller budget to purchase food for the monkeys. Daily, the cost of food amounts to sixty dollars, including the purchase of bananas and cassava. While the macaque can eat various plants and animals, they are accustomed to a life of luxury courtesy of tourists. According to Gustu Alit, the macaques are not beyond taking measures on their own, which can be seen with the raids.
It has gotten to the point where the monkeys are sitting on the roof and sometimes removing the tiles off of them. The villagers are now placing offerings wherein a story recounted by Gustu Alit; two monkeys made off with two bags of flowers and food at the temple.
As the monkeys were accustomed to interacting with tourists daily and pulling off shenanigans, such as stealing bottles and sunglasses, Gutsu Alit deduces that the issue could also be more so since monkeys are now just bored.