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Natural World: Meet the Monkeys

Natural World: Meet the Monkeys

Fri Sep 6, 9-10pm, BBC2

By Oliver Keens
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It’s hard to dislike a programme that starts with a guy revealing that ‘There’s a whole bunch of monkeys in my van.’ So begins Colin Stafford-Johnson’s hour-long documentary set on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi. It’s a return visit for the nature cameraman, who first spent time on the island 25 years ago; nowadays, there’s an edge of distress to Stafford-Johnson’s mellifluous Irish tones. The native macaque monkey is under threat.

Chief among the problems are the meat-eaters of Sulawesi. In this part of Indonesia demand is high for macaque meat, along with other bushmeat like bats, snakes, squirrels and rats. Stafford-Johnson’s visit to a local market to witness the trade will stay with you a long time. Luckily, cuteness abounds on the margins of this well-made and affecting nature film.
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