Monkey Rescued From Being Put on Menu
By Associated Press
July 16, 2004, 8:06 PM EDT
Taiwan — A monkey was recuperating at a wildlife park in Taiwan after being rescued from a restaurant that planned to sell slices of the animal’s brain while he was alive in a cage, a local government official said Friday.
A tourist in the central mountainous area of Nantou bought the monkey, Formosan macaque, after he saw that customers at a restaurant were about to eat its brains, said Huang Kuo-chen, a forestry official in Taoyuan county, where the tourist lives.
The man phoned Huang’s department to ask whether the monkey could be legally raised at home, the forestry official said.
“Raising monkeys at home is banned because they are protected animals,” Huang said.
The man, who didn’t give his name, handed over the animal to the authorities after rescuing it in May, Huang said. An inspection of the monkey showed exposed bone and small holes in its skull, he said.
In a front-page story, the Apple Daily showed photos of the monkey with a patch of hair shaved on its head where the restaurant reportedly planned to cut open his skull and slice off pieces of brain.
Many Taiwanese enjoy eating exotic animals because they believe the creatures provide special health benefits.
CTI cable news quoted doctors who warned that animal brains could contain dangerous viruses and were not fit for consumption.
The monkey is now being held at a wildlife park before experts evaluate whether it can be released in the wild, Huang said.
Here is a description of one monkey brain feast, which according to the source web site happened in 1948 or so.
The monkey’s head was supported by its neck in a
bracket, two pieces of wood with a semicircular hole on each side such that when you put them
together, they form a complete circle around the animal’s neck, allowing the head to be exposed
above the plank. The hair around the head is shaven with a shaving razor. A small chisel and a
hammer is used to quickly chisel a circle around the crown, and the top part of the skull is
removed. A teaspoon is used to scoop up the brain, which is immediately eaten. This has to be
done before the monkey dies.