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Going Ape Wild in Bali

Surge of Monkey Attacks at East Bali Religious Site See Canadian Backpacker Bitten

(8/2/2014) In recent weeks monkeys populating Pura Sad Kahyangan Lempuyung – an important religious site in the traditional village of Purwayu in Karangasem, East Bali, have taken to attacking visitors.

On Thursday, July 31, 2014, one day after one of the primates attacked and bit a female Hindu Devotee, Ni Ketut Sutarmi, praying at the temple, a Canadian tourist Boris Gionet Blanchet (19) also suffered serious bites to his calf.

While there have been a number of Balinese worshippers bitten by the temple’s monkeys in recent months, this is the first time the monkeys have attacked an overseas visitor.

Blanchet was taken to the nearby Karangasem General Hospital in Amlapura where his wounds were treated and he was released.

Local residents living near the temple reported the attack to the Village Chief (Kelian) of the traditional village of Purwayi, I Nyoman Jati.

Jati, who is also the chairman of the committee charged with the development and care of Pura Sad Kahyangan Lempuyung Luhur, asked the Karangasem Disaster Prevention Team (BPBD) to assist.

BPBD officers from Karangasem, coordinated by I Wayan Sueta, responded by visiting the temple to help evaluate the injured tourist.

Reports in NusaBali sayt that the Canadian and his companion refused the assistance of local guides who carry air-powered rifles when accompanying tourists to ward off the increasing frequent monkey attacks.

According to those in charge of the temple complex, over the past four months at least five people have been bitten by monkeys who make their home at the religious site.

In response to the attacks, the regent of Karangasem, I Wayan Geredeg, promised to quickly take steps to end the monkey attacks by seeking assistance from the police and armed forces.

Separately, traditional Balinese ceremonies are planned at the complex to bring spiritual power to end the attacks.