Apparently, everyone’s favorite adorable “selfie monkey” is cute enough to eat—literally, in Indonesia.
The crested black macaque became legendary after one of them, Naruto, took a selfie of himself in 2011 and catapulted into internet stardom. Though approximately 2,000 of the macaques remain protected in one of the country’s reserves, the primate is now critically endangered due to over-hunting, according to a new report from Seeker.
Activists on Sulawesi island have been trying to convince locals to stop consuming the crested black macaque. The population has dropped approximately 80 percent in the past four decades alone. Macaques play a key role in Indonesian ecosystems by helping to spread seeds.
“I like the taste, hot and spicy, it is similar to wild boar or dog,” Nita, a local from the area, told AFP.
Fans of Naruto, now the mascot of the species, have responded with shock and horror. Of course, Americans eat and *enjoy* plenty of “versatile canned meat products“—are we really to judge?
PETA filed a suit on behalf of Naruto in 2015, claiming that the macaque owned his selfie because of the Copyright Act. The judge in the case ruled in January 2016 that the act did not apply to animals, even obscenely adorable smiling ones like Naruto.
It was, some speculated, a grotesque display of adorable animal-phobia.
Or, you know, just logical.
Hunting the macaque is punishable by up to five years in jail.