Street monkey performance is a common form of cheap entertainment in Jakarta, Indonesia and in many Asian countries like India. Macaque monkeys who are trained for street performances, known as “topeng monyet”, are chained to a cage in “monkey village”, where the animals are trained to take part in street performances. The street performances usually involve the monkeys wearing masks, such as dolls’ heads or attire to mimic humans, with the monkeys trained to act out human activities such as shopping, riding bicycles or other simulations of human behavior.
Poverty drives the handlers to exploit the monkeys in the hope of earning small change. Shocking to many Westerners, it’s a common sight on the streets of Jakarta. Most Indonesians pass along unfazed or mildly amused and a few give the handlers money. But the effect and cruelty to the monkeys is a cause that charities such as the Jakarta Animal Aid Network are increasingly taking up.
Story: Denver Post. Photos by Ulet Ifansasti/Getty Images
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