The Wanara Wana Monkey Forest in Ubud, Bali is asking visitors to refrain from giving the hundreds of monkey living there any form of nuts.
Concerned that the monkeys living in sacred preserve are getting too corpulent, those who “guard the guards who guard the forest” want visitors to stop giving the primates nuts of any kind.
The curator of the Monkey Forest, I Putu Suardika, told The Jakarta Post: “Please do not carry nuts into the forest and do not feed the monkeys with nuts since it will badly affect their health. There will be no sanction imposed upon visitors who do not follow this policy, but I believe the visitors will do their best to ensure the health of these animals.”
Animal health experts have identified the high cholesterol and protein content of nuts as the root of an obesity epidemic among the long-tailed macaques at Wanara Wana Forest.
In an effort to provide a more varied and healthier diet for the monkeys. the monkeys are now fed sweet potatoes, rambutan, coconut, papaya and vegetables. Once every two days bananas supplement the diet of the monkeys with raw eggs added as a special treat on the Tumpek Kandang holy day when the Balinese honor domestic pets and livestock.
Eggs, like peanuts, are tightly controlled as Suardika links a high protein diet to enhanced libidos. Fearing an overpopulation of monkeys, Putu explained: “We carefully control the monkey population because we only have a limited space here. An uncontrolled population explosion could lead to nasty turf wars between rival monkey packs.”
There are currently an estimated 600 monkey now living in the 14-hectare forest on the southern border of Ubud.
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