WAKATOBI, DEC 2003 - BALI: UBUD MONKEY FOREST
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Bali - Ubud Monkey Forest

Just down the street in Ubud is the Monkey Forest Temple. Banana vendors sit right outside the two entrances, selling bundles of small fruit for your monkey-feeding pleasure. We bought a small bunch of bananas, and despite the warning signs, Dave stuffed them into his pocket. And so we walked the paths of the monkey forest, feeding monkeys as we went. It's strange: you sort of expect the monkeys to have more human traits than they do, because it is so natural to anthropomorphize them. When you give a monkey a banana, you almost expect him to display gratitude. Instead, he'll grab it, eat it immediately, and then run away (or towards you, as we will see below). Rude bastards.

Twenty minutes after our entry into the forest, a large, male long-tailed macaque ran up to Dave and demanded a banana, even though Dave had just fed him one. The monkey became indignant, pulling on Dave's shorts, where he knew bananas were hidden. After waiting all of five seconds for Dave to react, the monkey bit Dave on the thigh. I thought all of his was absolutely hilarious, despite some real risks involved with monkey bites in Bali. Like any good friend, I took a some photographs instead of helping in any real way (see below). :) The area around the bite turned black and blue, but it did heal over the course of the next two weeks.

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SELECTED PHOTOGRAPHS

Photographing macaques in Ubud (photo: Dave Patchen)

Photographing macaques in Ubud (photo: Dave Patchen)

Macaque, eating banana

Startled by my flash

Long-tailed macaque, at the monkey forest in Ubud

Macaque

Uh. His proportions are wrong.

Long-tailed macaque, at the monkey forest in Ubud

Long-tailed macaques, at the monkey forest in Ubud

Long-tailed macaque, at the monkey forest in Ubud

Long-tailed macaques, at the monkey forest in Ubud. They're both male.

Long-tailed macaques, at the monkey forest in Ubud. They're both male.

Dave, being bitten by a long-tailed macaque, at the monkey forest in Ubud

A local official treats Dave's monkey bite
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