Villagers in some areas in Wonogiri regency in Central Java have armed themselves with wooden and bamboo sticks to shoo away bands of monkeys that have repeatedly raided their farms in the past two months.
Monkeys have raided vegetable and fruit farms in Wonogiri, Slogohimo, Batuwarno and Ngadirojo districts, which are surrounded by forests.
"Villagers in the areas are producers of mango, papaya and banana. But we all have had failed harvests this year because the monkeys stole all the fruit. These animals really are a headache for us," said Suprihadi, 43, from Sendang village in Wonogiri district.
Some farmers have tried to trap the monkeys using nets, but hunger forces them to keep returning.
Sedang village head Budi Hardono said monkeys had also damaged houses and raided food stalls.
"The monkey raids have terrorised us. We have to stay alert all day long to prevent them from entering our houses," said Parwito, 55, from Tengiri village.
The economic division head of the Wonogiri regency administration, Edhy Tri Hadyanto, said the monkeys had left their natural habitat because of a lack of water and food in the forest as a result of the dry season.
"Natural forests are also in decline. There have been suggestions that we restore the forests and reduce the monkey population. We will seek the best solution," he said.