As demand for coconut products grows – so does the abuse of the macaque monkey forced to pick coconuts as slaves… expose on MAIL ONLINE
Video sent to Featureworld of chained monkey picking coconuts in Thailand
Coconuts – and the oil extracted from them – has become the ultimate in nutrition for foodies and celebrities alike. Indeed the coconut industry is worth billions.
Many cooks and celebrities extol the virtues of coconut oil, coconut milk and even coconut water – coconuts have become incredibly fashionable.
But as demand grows worldwide so does the abuse of macaque monkeys forced to pick the coconuts – as the perfect ‘slave labourers’ who don’t need to be paid.
Featureworld was alerted to the plight of the coconut-picking monkeys by a tourist in Thailand who sent video and photos showing the chained primates at work…
Thousands of monkeys now work eight hours a day six days a week tethered on a chain round their necks harvesting coconuts.
When all the coconuts are picked from a tree, the rope attached to the chain around the monkey’s neck is pulled, signalling it to climb down.
A Thai tourist who captured this video footage of monkeys climbing the trees in Koh Phangan to get the coconuts said: “We were shocked as we’d always imagined the coconuts were picked by men. These monkeys were made to work such long hours, tethered cruelly by a rope.
“We used to love coconuts – but seeing this has made us realise that the demand has sparked a cruel trade. The monkeys looked sad and tired.”
Baby monkeys are introduced to the coconut picking trade at around 12 months age.
The most valuable monkeys use their hands and legs to spin a coconut, dropping to the ground, with some trainers using the way monkeys get the coconut as a type of tourist attraction.
Harvesting coconuts is a difficult, dangerous and labour intensive job. Added to this, a man picking coconuts can expect to collect only around 100 a day. But once a monkey is trained it can pick up to 1000 coconuts a day. Because of this trained monkeys have become extremely valuable and monkey training schools have cropped up.
Monkey schools claim training places emphasis on showing the macaques kindness and never punishing them for mistakes. The monkeys are taught how to free themselves from become entangled in ropes and even how to select ripe fruit. Some monkeys are even taught to collect grounded coconuts and put them into sacks – again saving their owner from hours of back breaking work for no payment other than their food.
Monkey owners claim the their unpaid primate workers enjoy climbing and picking coconuts so deny it is a cruel trade.
However, a growing number of people claim wild nursing mother monkeys are often shot and their babies taken to train to work on the coconuts.
Many claim chaining a monkey by the neck and expecting it to pick coconuts all day long is cruel. And there have been report of monkeys, claimed by some as being profit-making slaves, who are constantly shackled 24/7 to perches in dirty sheds – denying them a natural life.
For example canned coconut milk produced in Thailand is most likely to have been made from coconuts collected by southern pig-tailed Macaque monkeys.
As a consequence some people are asking for more information about where their coconuts products come from – and only choosing to buy coconuts from countries, such as Mexico, which currently do not use monkeys to harvest coconuts.
* Coconut water alone is believed to be a £1billion industry.
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