In a district in East Jakarta, there is a slum by the name of South Cipinang Besar. And the story of this place will make you feel pity on people living there and also make feel disgusting because of the cruelty of people on animals specifically monkeys. So the village is called Masked Monkey Village.

When walking through its streets, you will see the trash and sewerage litter the ground. People with horrific faces will extend their hand towards to beg for money.


Another moment you will find a child approached you just to beg like others. and the one who has approached does not move like a child. Its movements are somewhat odd and jerky. The dimensions of the body are also somewhat off. Then you may notice the tail and the hairy, clawed fingers. You might then realize that what you took at a distance to be a child’s face is in fact a plastic, child’s mask. And you will find a monkey behind this child’s mask.


Masked monkey have their origins in the 1980s as traveling monkey acts to entertain the poor kids of the slums, or kampungs. As the shows became more popular, the monkeys became increasingly used for getting money from tourists.


The monkeys are captured by poachers in the wild, often snatched away from their mothers while still breastfeeding, to embark on a life of servitude. They are usually trained to walk upright and are most often dressed up in bright, garish costumes and masks, which are meant to make them cuter and more humanlike but in reality just transform them into nightmare fuel.

Monkey-village-4-min masked monkey village

These monkeys are kept by handlers who train them to perform various tricks and stunts, such as juggling, dancing, pushing colorful carts around, walking on stilts, riding toy bicycles, playing musical instruments, and performing acrobatics for tips. Many of these tricks are designed to mimic human behavior as much as possible, and some monkeys are even trained to do things such as smoking cigarettes or praying.


While the shows themselves are typically lighthearted and cute, the training methods used to teach the monkeys these various tricks are grueling and inhumane. In order to teach the monkeys how to walk upright, a ring is fitted around the monkey’s neck and this ring is tethered to two poles erected upright on either side of the animal. The ropes are tightened until the monkey is forced upright, and its arms are tied behind its back in order to prevent it from using them for balance.

This position is meant to teach the animals to rely strictly on their two feet to maintain their balance and footing, as well as to strengthen the muscles in their legs. They will be kept like this for hours on end, after which they will be allowed to rest for a short while before starting again. Training can last months and entails frequent beatings from the masters in order to break down the will of the animals.


Many monkeys, especially ones that were captured in the wild, do not survive the training. Health problems, injuries, disease, stress, and exhaustion all take their toll, and it is estimated that 40% of the animals do not live to perform, while 60% are unable to complete the regimen due to lack of will or physical strength. Most of the monkeys that die during the process are unceremoniously dumped into the river or even into the garbage, after which the handler will simply acquire another


In addition to the cruel training process, the monkeys are kept in horrendous living conditions. When not performing, they are kept in cramped, filthy cages stacked one on top of the other. Here the monkeys will be kept either in small cages too small to even turn around in, or they will be stuffed into larger cages that are packed with up to 15 other monkeys

Monkey-village-8-min masked monkey village

The inhumane treatment and cruelty inflicted on the monkeys is enough to have caught the attention of the animal welfare group Jakarta Animal Aid Network (JAAN), which has begun campaigning to put an end to the practice.

The government has recently outlawed this barbaric tradition, so at least the treatment of these monkeys have stopped…. for now.

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