Aug 3, 2010

Smokin' monkey

Yuntai Mountain in Henan province, which I visited recently, is situated in a lush forrest. There are many macaques that are active in parts of the park. Just in case tourists don't have the chance to encounter any monkeys during their visit, the park management have considerately arranged a massive monkey cage. The cage is constructed from a double layer of oxidized chain-link fence, with a bare concrete floor. Inside the cage lives an entire troop of macaques. The baby monkeys are small enough to slip out of the chain-link of the roof, but the adults are too large to get out.

Along with plastic bags, Coke bottles, and other garbage, some tourists throw their cigarette butts through the chain-link fence to the macaques. The macaques seem to consider the butts to be a wonderful delicacy. Here's a juvenile macaque that sort of looks like he's smoking a cigarette butt:

I find it fascinating to observe primates. I'm like Al Pacino's character in Donnie Brasco — I love to watch animals. You can probably guess what my opinion is on the habitat and treatment given to this particular troop of monkeys.


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