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Searching For Monkeys

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Chapter Summary

This chapter describes the difficulty of observing wild monkeys in the days before provisioning. To appreciate the magnitude of provisioning as an achievement one need to get a sense of the earlier elusiveness of wild monkeys. The chapter focuses on early postwar primatology. Drawing on Itani Junichiro's pioneering field study at Takasakiyama in 1950 and 1951, it sets out the problems that beset field observation of open-range monkeys. Three major obstacles are identified and discussed: monkey wariness towards humans, monkey mobility across mountainous terrain, and monkey invisibility in the forest environment. The author argues that these same obstacles that faced the primatologist would have proved even more daunting for the tourist, effectively precluding the existence of monkey tourism on any scale before the emergence of provisioning.

Keywords: Itani Junichiro; monkey tourism; postwar primatology



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