Dozens of activists from the ProFauna environmental campaign group have demonstrated in Denpasar against restaurants serving endangered species.
During the protest, at Caturmuka Park last Wednesday, activists demanded an end to the serving of meats from rare wild animals across Indonesia.
ProFauna’s Bali coordinator, Jatmiko Wiwoho, said that wildlife consumption in restaurants was an issue in seven major cities across Indonesia – Denpasar, Surabaya, Malang, Jakarta, Yogyakarta, Palembang and Medan.
He said that many restaurants in those cities, including Denpasar, frequently serve monkeys, anteaters, turtles, snakes, lizards and hedgehogs.
“This is just what we know about. It is likely that there are still other unknown restaurants scattered throughout the major cities in Indonesia,” he said.
According to Wiwoho, the popularity of exotic animals in restaurants was usually linking to myths that eating them could cure health problems or boost sexual performance.
“However, there is no medical scientific evidence that such meat can cure these diseases,” he said.
Wiwoho said that the trade in wild animal meat threatened species’ survival and was often inhumane.
In Bali, he said, a particularly popular wild meat was that of lizards, captured from the wild in East Java and transported to Denpasar. He said around 100 lizards a month were thought to be transported in this way.