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Don't Monkey Around with Rabies in Bali

Bali Health Officials Urge People to Keep Stray Dogs Away from Bali's Monkey Population to Prevent Spread of Rabies.

(11/24/2009) The Head of the Animal Husbandry Department for the Province of Bali, Ida Bagus Alit, has warned Bali's several tourist attractions and religious sites that are home to wild monkey populations to be on guard to prevent a species jump in the current rabies epidemic from dogs to primates.

Quoted in Kompas.com, Alit called on all traditional villages in Bali, especially those that are host to monkey populations that mix with local residents and visitors, to join the effort to stop the spread of rabies by preventing stray dogs from mixing with the primates.

A number of areas in Bali are well known for their wild monkey populations that share their environments with tourist and local populations. Among the most well known areas are Sangeh, Pura Uluwatu, Alas Kedaton, Bedugul, Ubud Monkey Forest and Pulaki.

Alit has also warned Bali residents to mindful of the fact that rabies can also easily spread to Bali's domestic and feral cat populations.

A lot said: "Hopefully careful supervision by officials at each tourist attraction will prevent dogs from having contact or fighting with local monkeys." Budi Prasetyo of Bali Agricultural Quarantine Office in Denpasar warned: "If monkeys become infected with rabies, the problem (of rabies) will be come much more difficult to resolve."