The monkeys in action during the coconut picking competition.
BACHOK: "Hitam", a two-year-old short-tailed macaque picks things up easily, literally.
|Hitam is good at picking up litter.|
Its owner, Zulkifl Mamati, 42, said: "Hitam is a clever monkey and I taught it to pick up litter just to make it different from other monkeys."
Zulkifl bought Hitam in Pahang for RM230 about 18 months ago.
He said Hitam would be useful during health campaigns.
Hitam won the hearts of the crowd when it performed for the first time in public at the Pantai Irama Festival here, recently.
It was adept at picking up bottles, slippers and a coconut and then putting the items into a basket.
The monkey had actually been entered for the "clever monkey" category in a competition but it was cancelled as Hitam was the only entry.
Zulkilfi said it took him almost a year to teach Hitam the tricks. He, however, declined to reveal how he trained the monkey.
The competition's coconut plucking event saw a monkey owned by Sidek Deraman winning the top prize. Sidek's monkey plucked nine coconuts.
Second and third place went to owners Nordin Yaacob and Zaid Dollah, respectively.
MDB secretary Shahrin Abdullah said this was the first time that the local government organised such an event.
"We organised this event for the monkeys as it is quite unique to the district. Bachok has more than 200 trained macaques which are kept by villagers, possibly one of the biggest collection of trained macaques in the country," he said.
Asked about complaints by animal rights groups on such competitions, Shahrin said: "The competition is good as it helps the animals to sharpen their skills," he said.
Villagers use the monkeys specifically for the job of picking coconuts.