Tortured for tourists: Behind-the-scenes images show the abuse and suffering inflicted on monkeys forced to perform on the streets of Indonesia
- The monkeys are chained up by the neck and forced to wear bizarre costumes and grotesque face masks
- They are paraded through the streets on stilts and miniature motorcycles on the streets of the city of Medan
- Behind-the-scenes images reveal the primates’ horrible living conditions where their handlers mistreat them
These shocking pictures reveal how monkeys are tortured and abused as they are forced to perform on the streets of Indonesia.
The animals are chained up by the neck and forced to walk on stilts to entertain passers-by in the city of Medan, the fourth-largest in the country.
In the distressing pictures the monkeys are brought out to wear bizarre costumes, grotesque face masks and ride miniature motorcycles around the streets.
Behind-the-scenes images also reveal the animals’ horrible living conditions, kept in dark cages with the chains still around their necks.
The animals’ handlers are seen treating them roughly, picking them up by their hands and feet and leaving them lying on the dirty ground.
Chained by the neck: A monkey appears in visible pain as it yanks on a metal chain clamped around its neck, in one of the shocking pictures of animal abuse in Indonesia where the primates are forced to entertain tourists
Monkey on a motorcycle: One of the animals is chained by the neck (left) as it sits on one of the miniature vehicles used to entertain passers-by while another monkey (right) is forced to wear a grotesque coloured face mask
Locked away: This image reveals the monkeys’ horrendous living conditions, as the helpless animal is kept in a cramped and dirty cage and is chained up by the neck even when locked in captivity
Helpless: A monkey lies on the hard and dirty floor with the absurd mask on its face and the metal chain around its neck
Abused: This monkey is tied up with a metal chain and forced to ride the streets on a miniature two-wheeled vehicle decorated as a Fiat motorcycle to entertain passers-by in Medan, Indonesia
Sutanta Aditya visited the streets of Medan, Indonesia, last week and captured the distressing images of the animals in captivity.
He said: ‘The shows are controversial because of the sensitivity of human feelings.
‘When one person can think depriving other creatures of freedom in iron chains to make money is commonplace, I can see this comes from economic limitations.
‘If you’re taming a creature of God, there must be a responsibility which comes from this. I feel sad for the monkeys and hope my pictures produce thoughts and actions.’
The monkey mask artists earn from 75,000 to 150,000 rupiahs (between £4 and £8) in one day of work – just enough to conduct a modest lifestyle.
One of the mask artists defended his job said he turned to the profession three years ago after struggling to find a job that could provide for his family.
Andi, 28, said: ‘Initially I was helping a friend of mine with his monkey mask performances. Then I started learning, I started recruiting baby monkeys and learned to tame them.
‘I do understand that monkey mask art is a controversial profession in Indonesia. Some people like it, some don’t. But, as long as it does not disturb public order, I can still make a living as a monkey mask artist.’
The controversial exhibitions are also found in India, Vietnam, Pakistan, Thailand, China, Cambodia, Japan and South Korea.
Wheelie: A monkey stands on its legs and holds up the ‘handlebars’ of its miniature motorcycle on the streets of Medan
Sick entertainment: A monkey is forced to parade through the streets of Indonesia’s fourth-biggest city on stilts as its handler pulls it along on a rope
Mistreatment: A handler grabs the monkey’s legs with his fist leaving the animal upside down and scrambling on its hands
Rough treatment: This monkey, dressed in an outfit resembling a sports jersey, is manhandled and picked up by the legs by its handler as it is forced to perform for tourists in Indonesia
Profit: One of the handlers shows off their winnings from the monkey performances, with one of the coloured face masks kept in storage in the background
Heavy lifting: A monkey holds a helmet and rides on a miniature motorcyle (left) – while a human travels on a real one in the background – and another of the animals (right) holds up one of the coloured masks
No escape: A monkey tugs on the metal chain which is keeping it sitting in uncomfortable conditions among planks of wood
Suffering: This monkey’s handler picks up the animal by the hand with the tiny animal chained up and unable to resist