Spanking the Monkey – Literally!

I blew up again – and I am proud of it!!!

After our spectacular hike down the back side of Emei Shan away from the crowds, we re-entered the areas accessible by bus. There, hiding among the crowds of Chinese tourists, was Emei Shan’s dark secret – the “Ecological Monkey Zone,” the most unbelievably stupid, ignorant testament to human idiocy that I have ever experienced.

Monkey on Emei Shan

Let me back up – Emei Shan’s slopes are covered with wild monkeys, many of which live natural lives. On the upper slopes, we spent quite a bit of time watching the monkeys’ natural behaviors – a real joy.

But as you descend the mountain, especially near temples, the monkeys start to get more and more aggressive. Near one temple, a monkey ran up to Thomas and pulled a bottle of Coke out of the side pocket of my backpack (which he was in the process of guarding for me.)

Monkey Drinking my Coke!

After finishing my Coke (which had cost me a small fortune), that same monkey walked into a group of Chinese tourists straight up to an old woman and ripped a bottle of green tea out of her hands. Yikes!

Such unfortunate behavior is common in parks all over the world where protections are not in place to prevent visitors from feeding wild animals.

But China being China has taken this to a new low.

Imagine hundreds and hundreds of tourists being actively encouraged to feed the monkeys. Now imagine, park employees being hired to physically beat the monkeys back with bamboo rods while the tourists egg them on with tasty treats. Imagine monkeys being hit in the face, the back, the legs – and being hit HARD! That’s Emei Shan’s “Ecological Monkey Zone” – otherwise known as the shame and disgrace of UNESCO.

Now imagine Tony going ape-shit all over the park employees 🙂

Official Emei Shan Monkey Beater

Official Monkey Beater with Rod

6 responses to “Spanking the Monkey – Literally!”

  1. avatar Garton says:

    Monkey visit sounded threatening. We miss you in San Diego. Ronn and Dotti

  2. avatar lisanunn says:

    Yikes is right!
    But where are all the beautifully awkward direct translations of what Tony yelled at the park’s Official Monkey Beaters? I’m forced to have to imagine them on my own.

  3. avatar evelyn says:

    I’m so proud of you, too, Tony! You’re right that this is a very widespread phenomenon, unfortunately. Think of all the human germs that get passed to our close relatives this way, only to get passed back to us in some newly adapted viral form. Do you think you could explain that to them in Chinese? Keep up the fight!

  4. avatar greeneyes says:

    Ken and I have had similar experiences with aggressive monkeys in Malaysia and Bali for the same reason, humans feeling the need to feed the monkeys.Unfortunately we have seen the same aggression displayed with water animals for the same reason.

  5. avatar Beverly says:

    I was visiting a similar reserve in Sumatra when this monkey jumped on top of my head and just sat there! Someone was thankfully able to peacefully coax it off by dangling a banana. I guess if I were at this reserve, I’d have to risk a hit to the head with a bamboo rod!

  6. avatar Garton says:

    Spare the rod and raise a rascal monkey!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.