Monkey Abuse: Macaques Still Being Chased and Harassed in Angkor Wat

Angkor Wat, Cambodia – According to new research by Lady Freethinker, Action for Primates, and Stop Monkey Abuse Asia, macaques continue to be tormented by people who video them for views on social media in Angkor Wat, a well-known tourist destination and UNESCO World Heritage Site.

In October 2022, Cambodian authorities issued a statement in response to an investigation and an appeal to the APSARA National Authority in Cambodia and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to stop the illegal and inhumane treatment of wild long-tailed and northern pig-tailed macaques living at the Angkor Wat temple complex. The statement from APSARA asked people not to feed or interact with the monkeys and highlighted the detrimental effects that feeding the animals was having on both their wellbeing and public safety. The goal being to stop monkey abuse. They added that they would pursue legal action against anyone at Angkor Wat found guilty of crimes against monkeys and other species.

Videos posted on Facebook and YouTube since that announcement, however, show that nothing has changed; monkeys are still being fed, given drink cartons, picked up and carried, relentlessly pursued with cameras, and forcibly separated from one another. This is despite the fact that Article 49 of the Cambodian Forestry Law expressly forbids harassing and harming wildlife. Videos also demonstrate the reckless tendency of leaving captive-bred monkeys kept as “pets,” which puts such animals at serious risk of harm or death.

A video compilation can be found here:

Or read the report:

Nina Jackel, founder and president, Lady Freethinker stated: “The footage is clear – video operators continue to harass the macaques for the sole purpose of ‘entertainment’ and making a profit. It’s crucial that Cambodian officials live up to their promises and take legal action against anyone who harms these magnificent animals.”

Sarah Kite, co-founder, Action for Primates stated: ”For the sake of the monkeys and the safety of the public, we urge APSARA to fulfil the pledge it made, and intervene to stop this inhumane, unlawful persecution and exploitation of the macaques at Angkor Wat. A strict ban on people interacting with and feeding the monkeys must be enforced.”

Shaz Daisy Torrance, Stop Monkey Abuse Asia stated: “We are calling on APSARA to enforce the law, which is currently being ignored by video operators, at Angkor Wat. In particular, the treatment and abandonment of former ’pet’ macaques in the temple complex is cruel and inhumane. They deserve freedom and a chance to return to a life in the wild.”

Action for Primates, Lady Freethinker, and Stop Monkey Abuse Asia have written again to APSARA and copied UNESCO.

A petition urging the Cambodian authorities to fulfil their promises and do more to protect Angkor Wat’s macaques:

There have been previous reports of Reports Of Monkey Abuse For Social Media Videos

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