A woman visiting Bali got a fright when she was bitten by a monkey while smiling for a photo at an animal sanctuary — a popular activity on the list for many visiting the island.
Canadian friends Molly and Erica were at Ubud Monkey Forest while on holiday in Indonesia, but their outing was cut short when they were rushed to a medical clinic for emergency treatment to prevent Erica from contracting rabies.
The shocking moment was captured on camera and shared on social media this week and shows Erica sitting on a step at a popular tourist spot as three monkeys sat beside her. Suddenly, and without warning, one monkey lunges at her forearm before latching on to her flesh causing her to scream and jump up to her feet.
Thankfully the pair had received "all necessary vaccines" before heading on their trip which is recommended for all holidaymakers in Bali, including Australians. The rabies virus is transmitted through infected animals and without treatment can be fatal.
Tourist receives precautionary treatment for rabies
After the incident, the women went directly to a clinic, Molly revealed in a video on TikTok. "They said everything was fine. The only symptom to watch out for is fever," she said.
A follow-up clip showed Erica at the clinic receiving treatment. Molly revealed her friend received six different injections as a precautionary measure.
"We have to go back [to the clinic] in a week and as soon as we return to Canada," she revealed in the comments of her video. "She also has to take several medications a day. All this to prevent in case it would be more serious."
Aussies warned to avoid contact with monkeys
"If bitten or scratched by an animal immediately use soap and water to wash the wound thoroughly and seek urgent medical attention," the Smart Traveller website reads.
Rabies treatment in Indonesia may be limited, the government website states. "If you're bitten you may need to return to Australia, or travel to another country, for immediate treatment," it adds.
'Animals are suffering for human entertainment'
Elise Burgess from global animal welfare agency Four PAWS Australia previously spoke of the cruelty animals often endure in similar venues targeting tourists.
"Many Australians would identify themselves as huge nature and animal lovers, and these venues take advantage of this interest in animals," she told Yahoo.
While she said she wasn't unaware of how the monkeys are managed and treated in animal forests, such as the one in Ubud, generally animals are "sedated or psychologically beaten down" to perform "unnatural acts against their instincts".
"From festivals to zoos, circuses or for selfies with wild animals, animals are suffering for tourist entertainment all over the world. This can include animal encounters such as selfies with monkeys," she said.
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