IT’S not quite The Hangover, but schoolies have given their hard partying in Bali a new twist by buying a monkey, bringing it back to their hotel to party with them and surviving a rabies scare.
The group of Newcastle students parted with less than $100 to buy the long-tail monkey, which they have named Dunstan, from a street seller last week.
They took the animal back to their Kuta Beach hotel, saying they wanted to rescue it from cruel captivity. The boys, aged 18, have been feeding Dunstan a diet of bananas, water and baby formula.
Chris Chaplin, an 18-year-old who attended St Francis Xavier College, said he and friend Jeremy Hay spotted the animal being kept inside a 30cm x 50cm apple crate and decided to give it a “holiday”.
“We decided to take him out to give him a home for seven days,” Mr Chaplin said.
He said Dunstan had also helped to attract female attention in Kuta. “The ladies love it,” Mr Chaplin said. “It works a treat for Jeremy, he has picked up about 12 girls off it.”
After initially keeping Dunstan in their hotel bathroom, the group agreed to move it outside after hotel security received complaints it was being “hurt”.
When The Sunday Telegraph visited the hotel, Dunstan was collared to a long metal chain and sitting in a tree quietly squeaking. Mr Chaplin said they had been treating Dunstan well, despite some women in the area suggesting they had mistreated the monkey.
The school-leavers were planning to hand the monkey to a vet before they left Bali yesterday. Their animal adventure has come with a painful price: several members of the group were forced to seek medical attention after being bitten by their furry friend.
Indonesian monkeys are known to carry rabies and the teenagers said they had taken precautionary measures by getting treatment costing $200.The schoolies said they had also been offered tigers for sale during their stay.
The Sunday Telegraph tracked down the Balinese man who sold Dunstan.
Identifying himself only as Aros, he admitted having a house full of monkeys that he would happily sell to anyone, no matter how long they intended to be in Indonesia.
It is legal to purchase monkeys on the streets of Bali.
Emma Hurst, campaign manager of animal welfare organisation Animal Liberation, said the monkey-buying schoolies were being “completely irresponsible”.
“When you take an animal it is your responsibility for the rest of its life,” she said.
“Who knows what will happen to this monkey after they are done with it.”