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Provisioning The Monkeys

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Chapter Summary

The monkey park is an animal-centred visitor attraction that is based on the practice of provisioning-the regular supply of food handouts-for the purpose of establishing control over monkey movements and making the monkeys observable. This chapter looks at how and why provisioning was originally carried out in the 1950s and 1960s. It focuses on the historical provisioning of the monkeys as a process of dietary conversion: the deliberate transformation of the monkey's pattern of feeding from one based on wild foraging to one in which human food handouts become the main constituent. The chapter discusses how the founders of the parks got forest monkeys to accept food handouts and to tolerate the presence of the human beings providing them. It presents the four different purposes for provisioning: a methodological device for scientific observation, a means of displaying monkeys to tourists, a crop protection strategy, and a conservation measure.

Keywords: monkeys; provisioning; wild foraging



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