Dance monkeys must perform tricks for the public. They wear doll clothes and masks to look like people as much as possible. The training of the macaques in order to learn the tricks is extremely cruel. During training, they are chained to a wall and then have to learn to stand on two legs for a long time. Their arms are then tied to their back. The monkey gets a metal ring around its neck with two chains that are attached to two posts.
Fortunately, the dance monkeys have been banned since the end of 2013 in Jakarta and since 2016 in West Java thanks to the lobby of our foundation. An arrangement was made for everyone involved in the dance monkey industry. Those who voluntarily handed over their monkeys within three months received compensation. After these three months, confiscation of the monkeys would take place. We are working hard to get the ban on a national level.
Until then, we search the internet to find the monkeys. We trace locations through videos of shows on social media. First we investigate whether a training center is connected to it. We can dismantle this together with the national police so the macaques can be confiscated.
Months in the nature
The rehabilitation process usually takes one year. The monkeys often arrive in a terrible condition. They are extremely skinny, have broken tails or the chains have grown into their skin. Some have infections in their mouth because their teeth are pulled out. Others have serious chronic diseases such as tuberculosis. Some don't survive.
After rehabilitation, we were able to release them in protected forest. The staff of Wildlife Watchdog explores the area for months in order to find suitable territory. Releasing is not possible within the territory of existing monkey groups. After release them, the monkeys can finally live in their natural habitat again and forget about their past.