Sri Lanka is in the middle of the worst economic crisis in its history. Money is desperately needed – and necessity is the mother of invention. Now the government is causing outrage among animal rights activists with a new business idea. Because: The island nation wants to sell up to 100,000 Ceylon monkey hats to China.
In fact, almost all live animal exports are banned in Sri Lanka. Furthermore, the species of macaque, named after its apparent crown of hair, is classified by the International Union for Conservation of Nature as Endangered.
However, in Sri Lanka, animals are a thorn in the side of people: they destroy crops, invade villages, and even attack people! This is why monkeys are no longer on the authorities’ protection list and may be shot.
It is not yet clear if the monkeys will actually be sold. Agriculture Minister Mahinda Amaraweera told Agence France-Presse that a similar request from China is currently being examined. Further: “They want these monkeys for more than 1,000 zoos.”
However, according to The Environmental Foundation, this information seems to be very inaccurate. Animal rights activists want to know if China needs the monkeys “for their meat, for medical research, or for other reasons.”
Officially, the number of Ceylon cap monkeys is estimated to be between two and three million animals. However, the species has not been counted for 40 years.
The fact that China wants to buy 100,000 monkeys from Sri Lanka is generally surprising. In fact, the country has enough problems with its own monkeys. Just last year, the case of a monkey trying to kidnap a three-year-old girl caused a stir.
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