A video of a monkey grabbing and dragging a toddler away on a street in Indonesia has gone viral on the internet, leaving netizens reeling in shock at the sight.
According to various reports, the incident occurred in Surabaya, Indonesia on May 2, Asia One reports.
The video clip (below) shows the monkey zooming down the street on a toy motorbike. It then crashes into a group of children seated on a bench. Then it jumped off the vehicle and started dragging a baby girl away by the arm.
Seconds later, the monkey released the baby who got back on her feet and tottered back to safety. Although she got away with only abrasions on the forehead, the young baby was traumatized by the incident.
Apparently it is a trafficking effort. The monkey grabs the kid and somebody pulls them both back. If things go south, they let go of the rope and the monkey takes the rap.
— Conflicted Existence (@PDX_DianeS) May 4, 2020
Since the clip made its rounds online, there has been an onslaught of speculation as to what had happened that day. Some Twitter users believe it was an attempt to kidnap the child for human trafficking purposes.
Me after seeing the monkey kidnapping:
"Monkeys are animals!"
Me after seeing the string:
"People are animals!"
— Simon Strålberg (@sstralberg) May 4, 2020
That monkey is being pulled by a rope, it's grabbing onto the kid to try and escape, hold on, not be pulled back to whatever fresh hell it's being kept in. This isn't funny, it's cruelty.
— A. W. (@FultertonAW) May 4, 2020
Other eagle-eyed viewers noticed what appeared to be a rope around the monkey’s neck, shifting the attention to the issue of animal cruelty.
It turned out that the monkey had been part of a traditional street performance known as topeng monyet (masked monkey). The show typically involves a long-tailed monkey performing various tricks for money while wearing a doll mask.
In recent years, animal rights groups such as the Jakarta Animal Aid Network have campaigned for such shows to be banned due to the abuse that the monkeys suffer under their handlers.
Their efforts have seen limited success in the country. The shows were banned in some places like Jakarta in 2013 but not in others like Surabaya.