If you like wildlife you should not miss the opportunity to hang out with the wild monkeys on Bali. The Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary is one of the coolest thing to do in Ubud. It is quite obvious why. Who doesn’t want to see from the very close distance (even too close sometimes) how monkeys interact with each other?
The type of monkeys that live there is known known as macaques, the Balinese long-tailed monkeys.
In the forest there are more or less 600 monkeys. They are divided into 5 groups (depends where they live, eg. monkeys that live in the main temple). Each group consists of 100 – 120 monkeys in different age.
As you can imagine the cutest are the smallest monkeys that are hooked to their mothers and don’t even walk by themselves. They are also extremely shy, so it’s hard to get closer to them.
The adult males are quite frightening for me. They might be really huge. The average weight of male monkey might be almost 8 kg. Can you imagine this kind of creature jumping on you? I can, that is why I was trying to avoid them as much as possible.
It is forbidden to touch the monkeys and feed them with food good for humans. There is a reason for that. Monkeys are not puppies and may be very unpredictable. I saw a few situations when they bit, scratched or stole something. Bad, bad monkeys, right? They don’t want to be like people want them to be, they don’t want to pose for our selfies and they don’t want us to cuddle them when we need it. I’m sure that most of the people think like this.
There are so many articles in the Internet about monkey attacks in Ubud. I can really understand why. It’s not about monkeys but the people who don’t understand the fact that even if monkey takes a banana from you doesn’t mean that it’s not a wild animal anymore. I saw many people who bought the bananas in the temple. Then, they were highy surprised that monkeys jumped around them like crazy. What do people expect? An animal won’t wait in queue for its turn.
To be honest, I wasn’t attack by any monkey. I felt safe. I didn’t tried to catch them, make a thousand selfies by attracting a monkey with the banana lying on my head (yes, I saw that too…). I didn’t try to tease them by showing food and then running away (yes, yes, that too) screaming like crazy that they tried to catch me.
I even had a situation that one guy tried to hide behind my back because he could’t handle the monkeys jumping around him. As you can guess, he had 10 bananas in his hand, but he wanted to give them only to one particular, small monkey. How crazy and egoistic was that?
In my opinion, the best thing about wild animals is that we can join their world and observe how they live naturally. Let them be, respect them and enjoy their beautiful world, even if they don’t want to pose for our selfie when we want them to :)