Bali dance, drama and folklore abound with stories of armies of monkeys – doing both good and bad.
These stories cannot be far from the minds of the residents of the traditional community of Tenganan Pengringsinan near Almapura who have been literally under a siege recently by armies of destructive primates.
The village chief (kelian) of Tenganan, Wayan Yasa, told Radar Bali that thousands of hectares of agricultural land have been devastated by monkeys who have destroyed cultivated fields and even the private gardens surrounding the homes of local residents.
Villagers have been so affected by the crop destruction visited upon them by the monkeys that they have asked that contributions normally paid to the local village be reduced or eliminated. Explained Yasa: “Everything’s been eaten (by the monkeys). Pineapples, bananas – basically anything that can be eaten. Tuak (local homemade toddy) has even been disturbed by the primates.”
Yasa blames the destruction on a surge in the local monkey population, forcing the monkeys to seek out new food sources in increasing competition for land with their human neighbors.
Efforts to address the problem by exterminating the monkeys have proven unsuccessful. Teams dispatched into surrounding forests and jungle areas report that the clever primates manage to disappear whenever they are being hunted.
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