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Please do NOT feed the monkeys. Please!

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Brooklyn, New York
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811 posts
16 reviews
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Please do NOT feed the monkeys. Please!

This may seem random and maybe I've missed it, but I haven't seen this topic come up in a while. I just like to bring it up from time to time for the newbies.

I was inspired to post this list again by this very disturbing video on YouTube of squirrel monkeys being fed by tourists at a restaurant in MA -- it's shameful: http://bit.ly/bFrI8w

"Ten Reasons Not to Feed the Monkeys

You might find feeding the monkeys (and other wild animals) to be a thrilling experience, but you are not doing the monkeys a favor. In fact, you are actually harming them. Here’s why:

1.Monkeys are highly susceptible to diseases from human hands. They can die from bacteria transferred off your hand that has no ill effect on you.

2.Migration to human-populated areas to be fed increases the risk of dog attacks and road accidents.

3.Irregular feeding leads to an aggressive behavior towards humans and other species.

4.Contrary to the stereotype, bananas are not the preferred food of monkeys in the wild. Bananas, especially those containing pesticides, can be upsetting to the monkeys’ delicate digestive system and cause serious dental problems that can lead to eventual death.

5.Feeding creates a dangerous dependency on humans that diminishes the monkeys’ survival abilities.

6.Feeding interferes with the monkeys’ natural habits and upsets the balance of their lifestyle centered on eating wild fruits, seeds, small animals, and insects.

7.Contact with humans facilitates poaching and the trade in illegal wildlife.

8.Pregnant females who are fed nothing but bananas during their

pregnancy will not give birth to healthy infants. The babies will be malnourished, or never develop to term, and die before birth.

9.Monkeys need to travel an average of 17 kilometers each day to be in good physical condition. If they know that food is available in a particular location, they will not leave that area.

10.Not only do we pass on diseases to animals when we feed them by hand, but they can pass diseases to us as well.

The monkeys do not realize any of this. Now YOU do. Don’t facilitate the extinction of one of Nature’s most amazing creatures for your own pleasure or financial gain."

(from the Eco Preservation Society)


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359 posts
7 reviews
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1. Re: Please do NOT feed the monkeys. Please!

Thanks so much for posting this again. It's definitely important for all tourists to know this.

Munich, Germany
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343 posts
4 reviews
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2. Re: Please do NOT feed the monkeys. Please!

Thank for bringing up this important topic again. Just a bit more information on the bananas: they are not native to America, so no monkeys anywhere in Central or South America are used to feed on them. Of course they are grown there, but were introduced from Asia. I have seen agressive monkeys in Manuel Antonio myself and a discussion with somebody feeding them. Also watch your bags while in the park. They are very inteligent and try to steel everything that might contain food. A couple of years ago a group of White Faced monkeys were sitting close to a trail in Manuel Antonio National Park and suddently a female with a baby on her back came towards a group of tourists, showed her teeth, jumped up and rudely grabbed a plastic bag that a woman was holding in her hands and ran away with it. The woman was totally bewildered and the monkey in the distance opened the bag, took out a package of something that looked like cookies and started feeding on them. So please put plastic bags with food in your backpack and don't leave any bags with food unattended at the beach. The best option in my opinion is even to tie them to something so the monkeys can't run away with them. They even take backpacks up into trees and seach them for food. And they can get very aggressive if you try to take something away from them again.

Seattle, Washington
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2,505 posts
12 reviews
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3. Re: Please do NOT feed the monkeys. Please!

Thanks for bringing this to the top again. It's a very helpful and necessary post to help educate everyone, not just visitors.

Grecia, Costa Rica
Destination Expert
for Province of Alajuela
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7,873 posts
43 reviews
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4. Re: Please do NOT feed the monkeys. Please!

Thank you sir, always good to keep this kind of info floating around the forum



San Jose, Costa Rica
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46,099 posts
32 reviews
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5. Re: Please do NOT feed the monkeys. Please!

Maybe good to add...not to caged the monkeys either...some greedy humans cage monkies just to make money...that is animal cruelty...in my case I do not support any hotel with the "SANCTUARY" excuse...to me are just animla abusers!


Montezuma, Costa...
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538 posts
8 reviews
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6. Re: Please do NOT feed the monkeys. Please!

Thank-you for this post and all the info in it.

I did not know the details but know it is usually unwise to feed wild animals.

If you have spare bananas, feed them to some horses instead! They love them and the potassium helps the horses retain vitamins from their other normal food. Just watch your fingers : )

Manuel Antonio
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2,171 posts
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7. Re: Please do NOT feed the monkeys. Please!

This is such an important topic, thanks for bringing back to everyone's attention! If travelers really want to have an eco conscience, they should take a good look at what hotels they are booking. Several of the top 15 hotels on this site regularly feed or allow guests to feed the wildlife (check their review pics posted on their listings), which is in direct conflict with what our area is trying to promote, and a direct conflict with the preservation of our beautiful rainforest creatures. Thanks again for the post!

Shawnee, Kansas
Destination Expert
for Puerto Vallarta
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14,749 posts
93 reviews
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8. Re: Please do NOT feed the monkeys. Please!

In regard to # 3............Being pursued by a Capuchin who has obviously been fed by people.....I am here to say is no fun! Obviously these two that challenged us had been fed by humans and were not afraid of us, they have very scary looking teeth that they were happy to show us. Folks you can see Monkeys without having to feed them, and stay a respectful distance from the Capuchin's, and don't smile in a way that shows your teeth.

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26 posts
1 review
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9. Re: Please do NOT feed the monkeys. Please!

Please note that when I took the damas island mangrove tour, my tour guide fed the monkeys from the palm trees. The guide tried to justify his actions and pointed out that 3 other tour companies were doing the same thing.

Brooklyn, New York
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811 posts
16 reviews
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10. Re: Please do NOT feed the monkeys. Please!

I've heard that before about the Damas tour. I think some of them also feed the crocodiles. It's too bad. I'm sure they get better tips and more applause by doing that from tourists who don't know better. Education is the only weapon.

I also think people need to start coming back and naming names on these boards. It's the only way to get the word out. They'll only stop doing it if their business is hurt by the publicity.