Monkeys Love Bananas

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The Ubud Monkey Forest. A semi famous stop for most anyone visiting Bali, and an experience that could never be had at home. Safety regulations in the US would simply never allow humans to get this close to so many Macaques at once.

The monkey forest is a sanctuary for about 500 monkeys. The grounds are beautifully kept, and include three temples, a creek, and a series of walkways. An entrance fee equal to about $3 gets you in, another $3 for a bunch of bananas and you’ve got yourself a wild afternoon.

Groundskeepers will warn that the forest is the home of the monkeys and they rule the territory. The monkeys may jump on you, crawl over you, pull your hair, and steal all your bananas at once if they wish to do so. The groundskeepers appear to only step in when a human or monkey starts to scream too much. Monkeys seem to have a hatred (or passion) for glasses, so best to keep those out of the monkey forest- we saw a man get pretty abused by a Macaque because of his eyewear…

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Macaques have characteristics that are amazingly human. I suppose I knew this, but having not seen it up close before I didn’t realize how dramatic it was. Their faces express so much emotion. Their hands are intricate and have manual dexterity to rival ours. To watch them interact is so fascinating that we could have spent the entire day watching… If it wasn’t for their obsession with our recently purchased bunch of bananas.

It seemed like a great purchase at the entrance. ‘Yeah let’s feed them some fruit!’. The man in the ticket booth was all too happy to sell to us, and the slightly evil expression on his face is one we should have noted. The minute we stepped towards the entrance, a large male Macaque tried to jump me for the treats. One grabbed on to my purse and tried to pull me back, a few more started to close in on me for the kill. I always thought the monkey and banana thing was an overdramatized stereotype. But no, they really really love their bananas. Lesson learned.

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