The Save Our Monkeys Mauritius campaign is appealing to the international Hindu community to end the trade in monkeys for research in Mauritius. The appeal has been launched with the international release of a powerful new song sung in Hindi calling on Hindus who worship the monkey god, Lord Hanuman, to speak out for the exploited monkeys in Mauritius. Hanuman is one of the most popular idols in the Hindu religion and is worshiped as a symbol of physical strength, perseverance and devotion.
Mauritius is one of the world’s largest suppliers of primates (long-tailed macaques) for the research industry, exporting many thousands of animals each year primarily to the USA and Europe. The animals, trapped in the wild, are bred in their thousands in large-scale facilities on the island. They spend their lives behind bars; their infants taken away from them to be later exported to suffer and die in laboratories around the world.
The song, entitled Vaanaron Ka Udhaar (Save the Monkeys) along with the music and arrangement, was composed by Anand Nithoo and is sung by Paras Deshmukh. It asks why the Hindu community can continue to worship and pray to Hanuman when such terrible cruelty and suffering is being inflicted on the monkey population in Mauritius.
Anand Nithoo stated: ‘Mauritius is known as Paradise Island but it needs to be paradise for everybody, including animals. The very concept of Hindu culture emphasises the spiritual equality of all living beings. This song is an appeal to everybody who worships Lord Hanuman. For Maha Shivratree, more than 400,000 people go to Ganga Talao to pray. How can we pray yet at the same time allow such cruelty to happen to monkeys here in Mauritius? I urge the Hindu community to speak out against this suffering.’
India banned the export of its population of macaque monkeys for research in 1978 following a widespread outcry. Save our Monkeys believes that Mauritius can and should follow India’s lead and take a positive stand against the monkey trade.