Scary and very expensive picture with captive and mistreated monkey

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    Elizabeth Baker

    In one of the busy tourist areas of Marrakech, a man with a monkey on a leash signaled us. We were shocked and appalled by this phenomenon, as the monkey naturally didn’t look very happy. The man made the monkey do a few tricks, but we were disgusted by it and wanted to walk on.
    The man then took the monkey on his shoulder and started to come closer to us. Before we knew what was happening, the monkey jumped on my husband’s head and the man started laughing and gesturing that we should take a picture.
    My husband was startled by the monkey that he felt was attacking him and he wanted the animal off him as soon as possible but he didn’t know how to. We told the man to help him get the monkey off of him, but he just kept pointing at our camera.
    We figured the fastest and easiest way to get this all over with was to just take the picture and be done with it. When we had taken the photo and wanted to walk away, the man asked for 500 Dirham, which is 60 Dollars! We told him this was ridiculous, as we never even wanted him to put the monkey on my husband’s head, and 60 Dollars for just one picture is way overpriced anywhere in the world, let alone in Morocco.
    But he insisted, saying “you took the picture” and “it’s for the monkey and for my family”. We tried to get him out of our hair by giving him 100 Dirham, but that clearly wasn’t enough.
    He kept coming after us, and soon others joined him, telling us to pay him what he wanted. It was a very scary situation and we just gave him the 500 Dirham because we really wanted to get away from that place as soon as possible. Our night, and the rest of our holiday was ruined because of this terrifying experience.

  • #864 Reply


    Thanks for your story, Elizabeth!
    I can imagine it was a scary experience. Unfortunately, animals are abused like this in several parts of the world.
    In Marrakesh, a similar play is done with snakes. As soon as you take a picture, they won’t let you go without paying a hefty sum of money. Read more at

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