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Monkeys still being chased, filmed, and harassed in Angkor Wat

  • Pig-tailed macaque female, infant, dragged, at Angkor Wat.

Following an investigation and appeal to APSARA National Authority in Cambodia and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), to stop the inhumane, unlawful exploitation and harassment of troops of wild long-tailed and northern pig-tailed macaques living at the Angkor Wat temple complex, Cambodian officials made an announcement in October 2022.

ANGKOR WAT, CAMBODIA – Macaques in Angkor Wat, a popular tourist destination and UNESCO World Heritage Site, are continuing to be harassed by people who film them for views on social media, as revealed in new research by Lady Freethinker, Action for Primates, and Stop Monkey Abuse Asia.

Following an investigation and appeal to APSARA National Authority in Cambodia and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), to stop the inhumane, unlawful exploitation and harassment of troops of wild long-tailed and northern pig-tailed macaques living at the Angkor Wat temple complex, Cambodian officials made an announcement in October 2022. In the statement, APSARA acknowledged the negative impact that feeding of the monkeys was having on their welfare and public safety and urged people not to feed or have contact with the monkeys. They also stated they would take legal action against those who commit crimes against monkeys and other wildlife at Angkor Wat.

However, videos uploaded to YouTube and Facebook since that announcement show that the situation has not improved with monkeys continuing to be fed, given cartons of drink, picked up and carried, relentlessly pursued with cameras and forcibly separated from one another, even though Article 49 of the Cambodia Forestry Law strictly prohibits harming and harassing wildlife. Footage also shows that the irresponsible trend of abandoning monkeys raised in captivity as ‘pets’ is increasing, which puts those individuals at great risk of injury or death.

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.

Vicky Karantzavelou
Co-Founder & Chief Editor - TravelDailyNews Media Network

Vicky is the co-founder of TravelDailyNews Media Network where she is the Editor-in Chief. She is also responsible for the daily operation and the financial policy. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Tourism Business Administration from the Technical University of Athens and a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Wales. She has many years of both academic and industrial experience within the travel industry. She has written/edited numerous articles in various tourism magazines.

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