The pandemic, which has lasted for almost a year now, had caused a significant decline in tourist activity at the Ubud Monkey Forest. Months of zero visitors and lack of food resources at the attraction started to affect the health of the monkeys. To overcome this, the Padangtegal Traditional Village planted yams which would be used to feed the friendly primates.
The Head of Padangtegal Village, I Made Gandra, initiated the idea of planting yams six months ago in order to reduce expenses of feeding the long-tail monkeys (Macaca Fascicularis).
“Ubud Monkey Forest stopped operations in March 2020 due to COVID-19, so we have been subsidizing the operational cost since then,” Made Gandra said on Monday (1/2)
Prior to the pandemic, the village alloted USD 8,900 (IDR 125million) to feed the monkeys. The idea to plant crops was brought as an alternative to limited funds for resources.
From the total 28 acres of land in Ubud Monkey Forest, Gandra planned to use at least 4 acres to grow the yams.
“Two acres have been planted with the sweet potatoes, and we’ve already harvested most of them to feed the monkeys until the situation gets better,” Gandra added.
However, he admitted that this effort could only provide 10 percent of the total amount needed to feed all the animals.
They would still need funds for other substitutions such as corn, banana and papaya from the fresh market.
“We plan to grow other types of fruits in this area in order to fulfil their needs, so Padangtegal would not be too dependent on the earnings from tourism to keep the animals healthy.” Made Gandra concluded.
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