Monkeys may be cute, but they are still wild animals who belong in the wild. They do not belong in captivity, not as pets and especially not as props for entertainment. Primates are very social animals who depend on each other and live in tightly knit groups with their families. They also require lots of land to roam and become psychologically and emotionally distressed in captivity. Unfortunately, like other wild animals, monkeys suffer very much in the tourist industry. A photographer named Luke Massey recently uncovered the horrors that monkeys are currently living at popular tourist sites in Bali.

In the market area of Denpasar and Bandung, Massey found long tailed macaques chained to cages and being sold for just £3.80 each. That’s about $4 (USD). They are sold to work in entertainment where they are tortured with methods like being forced to hang on the tips of their toes so they learn to stand on two feet. They’re also beaten and starved until they learn to ride bicycles or stilts when told to. The trained monkeys are taken around parade lights and busy tourist spots for money.

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Some people buy the monkeys to be pets, not understanding that they aren’t small and cute forever. They are wild animals who can indeed turn aggressive. That macaque “smile” that many people mistake for happiness just like it means in humans is actually a sign that they are feeling afraid and may bite; they’re fang-flashing.

The monkeys kept to be used for entertainment in the tourist industry are kept chained to cages when they reach adulthood. Massey also explains: “Some lucky monkeys are bought by well-meaning tourists to be released or given to organisations but, despite being well meaning, this usually just fuels the trade,” and “Seeing a monkey in the wild is a fantastic experience. Seeing them in captivity in the markets is a horrible feeling, seeing their sadness in their eyes, while feeling completely helpless as they’re chained up is awful.”

If you go on a vacation and you see monkeys for sale, please understand that buying them does not save them as Massey stated. This only drives the industry as it increases the demand.

Sign this petition demanding an end to the exploitation of monkeys in the tourism industry in Thailand where they are suffering like the monkeys in Bali.

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