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Pay Peanuts, Get Fat Employees

Why Peanuts Were Killing Bali's Sacred Monkeys.

(6/4/2011) Visitors to the popular Monkey Forest located in the Bali arts community of Ubud are asked to obey a number of rules when visiting that sacred home of a colony of 600 Macaque primates.

One sign posted at theentrance gate to the complex contains rules asking visitors to protect their personal belonging from being snatched away by naughty monkeys, to avoid touching or provoking the monkeys, not to carry food in a bag of purse that may precipatet a food fight and, most importantly:

Please Do Not Feed The Monkeys any Peanuts


The prohibition against feeding monkeys peanuts has been at place at the Monkey Forest since 2006, when guests wishing to feed the animals were asked to only distribute fruit and other food stuff considered to constitute a healthy monkey diet.

Quoted in Beritabali.com, the man in charge of the Ubud Monkey Forest, Wayan Selamat, said: "Earlier, before the prohibition was in place, many monkeys in the place were overweight. There were many monkey with too much body fat, particularly in their stomach areas. Because they were too fat, many just fell from the trees and died."

So severe were the instances of "sudden monkey death" that experts from Central Washington University in the U.S.A. in cooperation with the Primate Study Center from Bali's Udayana University undertook a detailed study between 1998 and 2002. That study showed that "fat" Ubud monkeys were undergoing changes to their behavior that was detrimental to their general health.

"Before the prohibition, one monkey would eat up to a half kilogram of peanuts every day," explained Selamat.

The Wanara Wana Ubud Monkey Forest is located in the Ubud community of Padangtegal within walking distance of central Ubud. Covering a wooded area of 12 hectares, the public is welcome but, please, don't bring any peanuts.