The macaque is an endangered species and its meat is prized by the ethnic Minahasan people, a largely Christian group in the world’s most populous Muslim-majority country, who have no reservation about eating exotic animals, unlike Indonesia’s Islamic communities.
Activists are working hard at discouraging the people from hunting the monkeys which are protected by Indonesian law and officials have in the past raided the site, leading to violent clashes with vendors. Despite the activism and law enforcement clamp down, the trade is still booming.
Campaigners have also reached out to churches in the mainly Christian area to urge priests to preach that humans are the guardians of Earth and must protect endangered creatures like the monkeys.
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