Monkey Abuse Shames Japanese Wrestling World

Let’s be honest. When you hear that there’s a story involving A) Japanese wrestlers and B) a monkey, the immediate expectation is that there’s going to be all sorts of hilarious hijinks and that the monkey makes their lives more difficult by, like, hiding things and doing monkey laughs, and the wrestlers act all bewildered and overact like Japanese wrestlers so often do in the ring.

Rhesus Macaque
(This is a cute, non-abused macaque. We prefer to think of them like this.)

Um, not so; this is just some straight up animal abuse. Authorities are letting prosecutors decide whether to charge three current wrestlers and one former wrestler from the “Dragon Gate” wrestling group with violating animal protection laws. The investigation started with images of the abuse being posted online. While the picture isn’t brutally graphic - it’s not like the monkey’s dead or anything - it’s certainly unsettling enough that we’re keeping it below the fold. Proceed at your own risk.

First, from the MAINICHI DAILY NEWS:

KOBE — Police here will send documents to prosecutors on three professional wrestlers over allegations they abused a pet monkey kept at a training gym.

Around April, the monkey — a female 10-year-old Japanese macaque — was subjected to various acts of abuse at a gym run by Kobe-based wrestling group Dragon Gate, including being burned with a lighter and sprayed with deodorant, by three of the suspects, according to investigators. Another suspect is accused of purchasing the monkey sometime around 2000 and failing to register it with the mayor’s office.

Keeping wildlife, a macaque, for uh, domestic, you know, within the city… That ain’t legal either.

Okay, as for the image, like we said, it’s not that it’s horrific in the scope of abuse being done to the animal. But the monkey is in duress while getting choked, and that is abuse all the same, and  it certainly didn’t leave a good taste in our mouths when we saw it.

Monkey Strangling

Yeah. Not fun hijinks at all. We’re not even in the mood to make a masturbation joke.

No word on what punishment the wrestlers would face if convicted, but it always seems like just plain prison time isn’t what animal abuse should merit. Like, it’s not that they don’t deserve to be locked up and punished, but it wouldn’t fix the larger problem that they just enjoyed abusing a monkey. What’s there to do? Expend large amounts of energy trying futilely to punish them into remorse? Throw your hands up and just accept that some people are born bad? It’s sad and it sucks. But at least the monkey’s not dead, so… whoo, good news? Sigh. This story sucks.