10 August 2016

Monkey's on warpath

Wild monkeys living in Tegalalang, Bangli are on the warpath, destroying crops and occasionally menacing farmers working in their fields. Farmers in the area say the aggressive behavior by the monkeys has increased over the past two months. Villagers and local officials link the attacks to increased population, a reduction of natural habitat and the resulting lack of food sources for the primates. Local farmers claim they have been overwhelmed by the plague of monkeys. Efforts to frighten the monkeys off by beating old oil drums and shooting them with slingshots have proven ineffective. Trying to frighten the monkeys with fire torches and bonfires have also failed. A local farmer said, “They bravely return and attack, baring their teeth as they come.” Another farmer tells of fearing for his life while being chased from the jungle by a group of angry monkeys when he was picking wild ferns for his dinner table. The Tegalalang chief (Kelian) confirmed that this is the second attack of monkeys, following a similar occurrence last year. At that time, villagers resorted to religious ceremonies and rituals, paid in part by the Provincial Government, that eventually saw the monkey attacks subside. The monkey attacks are impacting crop production, while reducing rice and other food crops. Officials say harvests are down 30%. Farmers are calling on the government to plant alternative food sources for the monkeys that will draw the animals away from the farmer’s crops. Crops planted near the banks of the Tukad Melangit River are suffering the most, being trampled and destroyed by marauding troops of monkeys.

No comments:

Post a Comment