Photos: Gory death matches pit wild boars against dogs in Indonesia

Gathered around a bamboo-walled arena, Indonesians in a remote part of the Java island seem eager to watch contests pitting dogs against captured wild boars, known locally as 'adu bagong' or boar fighting, since the 1960s.

UPDATED ON OCT 19, 2017 01:11 PM IST 8 Photos
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A wild boar is pitted against a dog during a contest, known locally as ‘adu bagong’ (boar fighting), in Cikawao village of Majalaya, West Java province, Indonesia. The gory spectacle in this remote part of the Javanese province has been on since the 1960s, evolving from a simple measure against crop pests into a lucrative sport. (Beawiharta / REUTERS)

A wild boar is pitted against a dog during a contest, known locally as ‘adu bagong’ (boar fighting), in Cikawao village of Majalaya, West Java province, Indonesia. The gory spectacle in this remote part of the Javanese province has been on since the 1960s, evolving from a simple measure against crop pests into a lucrative sport. (Beawiharta / REUTERS)

UPDATED ON OCT 19, 2017 01:11 PM IST
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A dog-handler leans on a dog cage during a fight contest between dogs and captured wild boars, in Cikawao village, Indonesia. The origins of this tradition were simple --as recourse to surging wild pig numbers decades ago in the area with locals resorting to hunting them to protect crops. (Beawiharta / REUTERS)

A dog-handler leans on a dog cage during a fight contest between dogs and captured wild boars, in Cikawao village, Indonesia. The origins of this tradition were simple --as recourse to surging wild pig numbers decades ago in the area with locals resorting to hunting them to protect crops. (Beawiharta / REUTERS)

UPDATED ON OCT 19, 2017 01:11 PM IST
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Dog breeder Agus Badud washes his dog at his house in Cibiuk village of West Java province. Badud keeps 40 dogs who participate in fights in these contests. ‘I take part in this contest to increase the selling price and economic value of my dogs, and it would be useless for me as a breeder if I did not participate in a contest like this,’ he said. (Beawiharta / REUTERS)

Dog breeder Agus Badud washes his dog at his house in Cibiuk village of West Java province. Badud keeps 40 dogs who participate in fights in these contests. ‘I take part in this contest to increase the selling price and economic value of my dogs, and it would be useless for me as a breeder if I did not participate in a contest like this,’ he said. (Beawiharta / REUTERS)

UPDATED ON OCT 19, 2017 01:11 PM IST
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Villagers react as they watch an adu bagong match. Gathered around a bamboo-walled arena, residents here seem eager to watch the blood-curdling fights. They take place in a 15-by-30 metre (50 ft by 100 ft) arena surrounded by a bamboo fence to protect spectators, and only end when one of the animals is injured. (Beawiharta / REUTERS)

Villagers react as they watch an adu bagong match. Gathered around a bamboo-walled arena, residents here seem eager to watch the blood-curdling fights. They take place in a 15-by-30 metre (50 ft by 100 ft) arena surrounded by a bamboo fence to protect spectators, and only end when one of the animals is injured. (Beawiharta / REUTERS)

UPDATED ON OCT 19, 2017 01:11 PM IST
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Dog breeder Agus Badud’s family sit near the cage of their dog during a boar fighting contest. Participants told Reuters the fights were a way to preserve a tradition of hunting in the area. While dog owners pay anywhere from 200,000 rupiah to 2 million rupiah ($15 to $150) to enter the fights depending on the size of their dog, there’s also a cash prize of up to $2,000 for the winning dog. (Beawiharta / REUTERS)

Dog breeder Agus Badud’s family sit near the cage of their dog during a boar fighting contest. Participants told Reuters the fights were a way to preserve a tradition of hunting in the area. While dog owners pay anywhere from 200,000 rupiah to 2 million rupiah ($15 to $150) to enter the fights depending on the size of their dog, there’s also a cash prize of up to $2,000 for the winning dog. (Beawiharta / REUTERS)

UPDATED ON OCT 19, 2017 01:11 PM IST
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Villagers watch a fight in progress between a dog and captured wild boar from a protective bamboo stage. Not surprisingly, animal rights activists are up in arms against the regular spectacle. ‘It is a criminal act against animals,’ said Indonesian animal rights activist Marison Guciano. (Beawiharta / REUTERS)

Villagers watch a fight in progress between a dog and captured wild boar from a protective bamboo stage. Not surprisingly, animal rights activists are up in arms against the regular spectacle. ‘It is a criminal act against animals,’ said Indonesian animal rights activist Marison Guciano. (Beawiharta / REUTERS)

UPDATED ON OCT 19, 2017 01:11 PM IST
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A dog takes a hit from a wild boar during a bout. Defending the practice Nur Hadi, head of Hiparu, a group of hunting dog enthusiasts that takes part in the fights said, ‘It used to be very simple, not like now when the dogs are trained,’. ‘From there it’s been handed down and has even become part of tradition and culture,’ Hadi told Reuters. (Beawiharta / REUTERS)

A dog takes a hit from a wild boar during a bout. Defending the practice Nur Hadi, head of Hiparu, a group of hunting dog enthusiasts that takes part in the fights said, ‘It used to be very simple, not like now when the dogs are trained,’. ‘From there it’s been handed down and has even become part of tradition and culture,’ Hadi told Reuters. (Beawiharta / REUTERS)

UPDATED ON OCT 19, 2017 01:11 PM IST
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A dog-handler cleans blood from his dog which bit a boar during a fight. Participants say the contests test the agility and hunting abilities of the dogs. If a boar survives a fight, once healed it will be returned to the arena to fight another day. If not, it will be butchered and sold for meat. (Beawiharta / REUTERS)

A dog-handler cleans blood from his dog which bit a boar during a fight. Participants say the contests test the agility and hunting abilities of the dogs. If a boar survives a fight, once healed it will be returned to the arena to fight another day. If not, it will be butchered and sold for meat. (Beawiharta / REUTERS)

UPDATED ON OCT 19, 2017 01:11 PM IST
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