Thursday, September 08, 2005

Monkeys at Uluwatu; Simian Foamy Virus

Monkeys at Uluwatu
Originally uploaded by Trapped In A Suit.
The ticket man regaled me with tales of the monkeys' ferocity until I agreed to give him a few thousand rupiah to accompany me with a slingshot (but curiously, no stones) which he aimed and made as if to shoot with good effect.

I did not know it, but simian foamy virus has recently been found to have jumped from monkeys to humans, a Balinese human in fact. That sounds pretty bad doesn't it? and comes with warnings on many an Indonesia blog, and Bali Update like this:
"Visitors to a Bali Monkey Temple should do so as part of a tour lead by a licensed guide and follow all instructions given to them, refraining from feeding the monkeys or posing for photographs while holding the primates."
Why? Foamy, I imagined, was how the mouth was during the paroxysm which is paralysis's antecedent. But no, hidden away in the fine print was this little detail:
"SFV has not been linked to any known disease symptoms among the humans infected, appearing to be non-insidious and benign to both humans and monkeys."
Mind you, the BBC does give some context about why to be worried, maybe. But then again, people already were worried, about their sunglasses. And if they weren't worried, the men who live from their stoneless slingshots did their best to worry them.


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