Small Monkeys are Big Business in Cambodia’s Animal Trade

Gangs of humans follow troops of monkeys in Angkor Archaeological Park. In the shadow of Bayon Temple, bloggers spend their days documenting every move the long-tailed macaques make.

“I got into filming monkeys because I see them as a natural resource in Cambodia and I wanted to turn that into a passion,” said Sokhon Leak, whose daily monkey content has led to thousands of YouTube subscribers. “But nowadays, these monkeys come with controversy.”

This particular monkey business is on the ropes. Controversies about macaque management and concerns over the effect of human exposure on monkey behaviour has led to a steady decline in videographers. The benefits bloggers reap from filming macaques, however, are peanuts compared to the real monkey business in Cambodia: captive breeding and exportation.

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