Monkey Murderer

In Malaysia a four day old baby was taken from her crib, bitten on the face and neck and then hurled to her death from the roof of the house in Seramban. The murderer was a Macaque monkey. Tragic and not something one might consider when assessing the risks a new born faces in your own home. Unless you live in Malaysia.

Having lived not far from the location for several years I know wild life is a hazard, even in built up urban areas. In Singapore we had a 20 foot long python emerge from a drain and cross the road towards our block of flats before it was driven over by a taxi and then collected in the cab’s boot and taken away for supper. Snakes were just one hazard faced, in Malaysia monkeys are common and quite often carry rabies and other diseases. They have large canine fangs and are not shy in using them against humans.

As a tourist in Bali I was one of many that visited the monkey forest and laughed as they clambered over the visitors seeking peanuts and other treats. It was all very amusing until one lady decided her handbag was not to be taken and rifled through by a large male. He turned on her and savaged her hands and face in seconds, leaving her bleeding, infected and without her handbag.

By all means do the tourist thing but never let yourself¬† forget these are wild animals. Even ‘domesticated’ monkeys, kept chained up as a pet or amusement by the hotel you stay at can turn nasty in a heartbeat. So would you if you were stuck there all your life.

In Bangkok I watched a young elephant, brought into the city to beg for food by its owner, spit the dummy and run amok, crashing into cars, knocking over motorbikes and generally behaving badly. Try stopping a couple of hundred kilos of peeved pachyderm!

Animals are great, I love them to bits but I don’t trust them, especially the cuddly looking ones. A boat was holed and sunk by a whale off the Western Australian coast the other day and the three crew spent hours in rough seas until rescued. Don’t let the Save The Whales message make you forget they are large and powerful creatures and not to be messed with when in their element and your boat is smaller than they are. Hey, I don’t even pat my own dog! (kidding).

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