Friday, October 25, 2013

Be cautious of the Monkeys at the Batu Caves

The most popular side or day trip from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia is the Batu Caves. But before showing you pictures about my visit there, I’d like to touch on this topic which I believe is quite important. This is basically a precautionary post to all visiting tourists, especially to those who tend to literally touch and experience everything they see and meet. Nothing is wrong with that really but when you are talking about wild animals, they will almost and always remain wild. Did you hear the recent news about a girl mauled by a captive tiger in Thailand?

Macaque Monkeys safety precautions

I would like to put the macaque monkeys living in Batu Caves in the category of semi captive because although they are free to roam around the area, they have daily direct exposure to and contact with humans. When I see animals, wild or not, my first instinct is to right away keep a safe distance because you never know how the animal would react to your presence. The animal kingdom has a different social programme that is far different from our conditioned social ways which in the recent years seems to have been hijacked by social media, haha.

The Batu Caves just outside of Kuala Lumpur where the Macaque Monkeys live.

Anyway, I saw many tourists try to get near these monkeys and some even brought bananas to feed them. Nice move huh, but do you know that with this action you are endangering yourself?

FIRSTLY, these monkeys can hurt you. They can scratch and bite you. They could be harmless for all we know but a wild animal will always be a wild animal. They are not pets.

SECONDLY, macaque monkeys are carriers of the Herpes B virus. I am not saying the monkeys at Batu Caves are carriers of this virus but how would you know if that macaque monkey you just fed could have been? What if the said monkey comes back to you for more food, and when you don’t have any, the animal becomes angry and lashes at you or bites you. The scenarios are endless.

THIRDLY, do not feed them and be cautious of bringing a bag with you, especially a plastic bag because the monkeys will think it is a bag of food. They will follow you and snatch it away from you. If you resist, you might get caught in a monkey fight. Unfortunately, many of them have been conditioned this way due to the many tourists that come here everyday giving them food. Bag = Food.

I saw a guy who hid his small knapsack inside his shirt and stayed far away from the monkeys. He must have learned a lesson.

These monkeys are very quick! Quick as a fox and they are on the lookout on the steps for tourists with food. They will come to you if you have food or anything in your hand that looks like food.

I felt like a voyeur here, haha. Probably the most unexpected random thing I saw in this trip, monkeys mating in public, lol.

This is how the mother macaque monkey carries her offspring. The baby monkey clings to her breast like a bat.

How many monkeys can you spot in this picture?

This is a perfect example of a naive tourist. I know she means well but when you start giving food, the rest of them flocks and when they find out that the food has ran out, they might demand for more from you. Nothing happened to this girl but I was also on my way out when I took this picture.

At any rate, I find them really cute and very entertaining, although I felt like I was on the edge all the time watching my back. I didn’t want these monkeys clawing at me.

Be mindful of your safety people!

Travel Period: August 2013
Destination: Batu Caves, Selangor, Malaysia

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Happy Travels! Enjoy Life =)

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