An Australian tourist has recalled the horrifying moment she was attacked from behind by a monkey while on holidays in Bali, which left her with a hefty medical bill.
Melbourne photographer Patrizia Accoglienza, 42, was visiting the popular Ubud Monkey Forest Sanctuary last month when a large Balinese long-tailed monkey suddenly jumped on her backpack and bit her neck, which caused bleeding.
‘It happened so quickly, I was in total shock, and just pushed him off straight away,’ she told Caters.
‘He jumped to a nearby ledge and showed his teeth in an aggressive manner.’
Patrizia Accoglienza had been at the Ubud Monkey Forest for an hour before she was bitten
She rushed to the first aid clinic at the sanctuary, where staff cleaned the wound.
When she inquired about a rabies injection, she was shown a certificate which stated the monkeys are tested and don’t have any diseases, including rabies.
But for her own peace of mind, Ms Accoglienza got a second opinion.
She was bitten on the neck after a large monkey jumped on her from behind without warning
‘I went to a nearby health care clinic, who told me that I had the most serious form of rabies exposure because the bite was on my neck and close to a lot of nerve,’ Ms said.
She needed four rabies injections over a two-week period, along with two immunoglobulins injections into her thigh muscles and a fortnight’s worth of hepatitis tablets.
She forked out $8,000 in medical bills but will be reimbursed after she took out travel insurance prior to her first trip to Indonesia.
Tourist Patrizia Accoglienza was bitten by a Balinese long-tailed monkey (stock image)
She hopes to warn others planning to visit the tourist hotspot by sharing her story.
‘It was a huge amount to pay upfront, and I’m just thankful that I had that in my bank account. Luckily, I’d taken out travel insurance who will be able to reimburse me,’ Ms Accoglienza said.
‘The entire ordeal left me in shock, and I certainly wouldn’t be visiting any more monkey reserves.’
Ms Accoglienza required numerous injections and forked out $8000 for medical bills
The Melbourne photographer needed four rabies injections after she was told she had the most serious form of rabies exposure
Ms Accoglienza also posted a YouTube video about her traumatic ordeal which turned her Bali adventure into a nightmare.
She recalls the attack in the video and shows her waiting to receive the expensive treatments.
‘It was a day out with the monkeys, I wasn’t supposed to get bitten by one,’ she says.
‘If I don’t get it (the injections) and the monkeys are carrying something other than rabies, it will be affect me later on.’
The Ubud Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary is home to 749 Balinese long-tailed monkeys and attracts more than 10,000 tourists per month, who are urged to leave paper/plastic bags and plastic bottles at the ticket counter.
Balinese long-tailed monkey, also known as long-tailed macaque, can be aggressive towards humans, particularly if they feel threatened,
Visitors are welcome to engage with the monkeys but are urged not to touch them.
She was forced to fork out $8000 for the treatment she needed after the monkey attack
Ms Accoglienza hopes to send a warning to other tourists by sharing her traumatic ordeal
‘In generally, monkeys will not come to you if you do not bring bananas or any other food,’ the website states.
‘To respect the natural behavior of the monkeys and avoiding any accident (since monkeys are wild animal, not pets and their behavior is unpredictable), please don’t make any physical contact or feed the monkey extra food from outside of the park.’
Visitors can feed the monkeys bananas but are urged not to hind them because the monkey will know and try to get it.
The sanctuary also states the monkeys at the sanctuary are healthy and have never tested positive for rabies.
‘From 14 years research by Dr Agustin Fuentes from the Department of Anthropology, University of Notre Dame, USA, never found any case of rabies in any monkey in Bali, ‘the website states.
Ms Accoglienza was enjoying her time at the sanctuary which later turned into a nightmare