“Hey, Hey, We’re the Monkeys. People just say we’re monkeying around. But we’re too busy singing to put anybody down.” — The Monkees
In November, I saw our town working macaque monkey for the first time. He is trained to climb up coconut trees and fall the ones ready for picking. His owner has a huge lead of rope for him and sends him up the trees as the owner waits below. The macaque inspects each coconut and twists off those ready. Not sure who picks up the coconuts later and takes them to the owners samlore (a motorbike with a sidecar) after, but the owner then takes them off to sell.
I got to spot him again today and was once again fascinated. Back inNovember, I have to say the monkey seemed very reluctant. Today he just seemed content to go about his business quick as a… Fox? Working for a program that includes teaching and conservation, staff here at the GVI Phang Nga hub in Thailand often give animal ethics presentations to the volunteers. Sooo I have very mixed feelings about this and between the staff there was definitely some discussion about the ethics of this monkey business. Not sure what kind of training is required to get a monkey to do this job, and I believe like the vervet monkeys I worked with, macaques are troop animals and quite social.
But whether it is humane or a good quality life, it certainly is entertaining and fascinating to watch this guy go about his business!!!