Photographer Luke Massey shared heartbreaking photos showing long-tailed macaque monkeys being sold for only $5 in Bali, Indonesia.
The photos show the animals being sold on the streets of the tourist hotspot.
Monkeys can be seen locked inside cages while others are chained up as they watch people pass by. Other monkeys are seen being forced to perform – wearing masks, riding bikes ad walking on stilts.
The 28-year-old said people buy the monkeys thinking they will stay cute without knowing the animals will become bigger and more aggressive.
“Long-tailed macaques are the most commonly found monkey for sale in Indonesia’s markets,” he said. “They are cute looking and easily attainable in the wild relatively close to cities. The demand is mixed.
“Some people buy the monkeys as babies, thinking they will stay cute forever, only to find them turn aggressive once they hit adulthood. Others buy them to train as dancing monkeys.
“These monkeys are often tortured to learn to stand on their feet like humans, being hung just so their toes touch the ground for hours, beaten and starved so that they ride a bicycle or stilts on demand.
“Once trained they are paraded at traffic lights and busy areas, where their owners ask for money after each performance.”
Luke also said that the macaques on sale usually live in misery. “Youngsters are left in small cages or chained up once they reach adulthood. Some lucky monkeys are bought by well-meaning tourists to be released or given to organisations but, despite being well meaning, this usually just fuels the trade.
“Seeing a monkey in the wild is a fantastic experience. Seeing them in captivity in the markets is a horrible feeling, seeing their sadness in their eyes, while feeling completely helpless as they’re chained up is awful. Also knowing they are group animals and they are often kept on their own.”
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