Indonesian authorities have ordered the country’s police forces to shoot monkeys on sight in response to a worsening epidemic of monkey attacks, local media outlets reported Friday.
The government sent out more than 100 officers from both the army and police academy to five villages in Central Java with orders to contain the monkey situation and thin out the ranks of monkeys gone wild. However, officials said their intent was not to kill the animals, but rather to “neutralize” the threat, according to local media. Police were directed to use only rubber bullets.
Monkey attacks have been a problem for some time in Indonesia, and residents cite the destruction of their natural habitat in Mount Merapi as an explanation for why the monkeys have exited the forests to terrorize the villagers and cattle. An 80-year-old man was attacked in July and had his calf ripped open by a monkey, while another 82-year-old man had to get 42 stitches in his arm and chest after being attacked, Newsweek reported. Locals also claimed that the monkeys have been decimating their crop supply.
Residents doubt the effort will have any kind of measurable effect, however, especially given that police are merely deterring the monkeys with rubber bullets rather than killing them with real ones. “A similar approach has been adopted in other regions, but the monkeys keep coming back when they are hungry,” an animal activist told the Jakarta Post.
The activist added that there are more humane ways of dealing with the monkey problem, like spreading wet chicken poop everywhere since monkeys don’t like the smell, or painting a monkey red and then sending it to terrorize other monkeys since they allegedly are afraid of the color.
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