A town that has been taken over by a feral monkey population has made plans to relocate them to a ‘stress free’ area.
Officials and residents in Phetchaburi have swung into action to deal with the growing number of macaques, whose running amok is impacting locals and tourists. The animals have relocated their homes to the stores and business establishments near Wang Mountain, causing harm to properties and rooftops.
They have also been demonstrating aggressive behaviour, which has included injuring locals and tourists, and snatching food and belongings. The problem has led to a collaboration between the National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department (DNP) and residents to address the issue.
Officials, locals, monks and a vet from the DNP gathered for a public seminar titled Whose Problem is the Monkey Overpopulation?
Yutthaphon Angkinanun, the former advisor to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment and Chairman of Phetchaburi Civil Society Network, said that the increasing monkey population has been causing distress for residents in many areas.
The problem areas include key tourist spots and neighbourhoods around Wang Mountain, Luang Mountain, and Brick Staircase Mountain.
Some have suffered serious injuries, leading to numerous complaints to related agencies.
Some store owners have had no choice but to move their businesses, while residents, including students, have experienced incidents of food theft and physical injuries.
To ease the situation, the community, people affected, and relevant organizations have made the decision to gradually move the monkeys to a new location.
They’ll be temporarily relocated to a cage situated at the Huai Sai Wildlife Breeding Center in Cha-am District, Phetchaburi Province, which covers an area of more than 7,000 square meters.
This initiative aims to reduce the distress suffered by residents and tourists, reported KhaoSod.
Atthaphon Charoenchansa, representing the DNP’s director-general, stated that the Wildlife Friends Foundation is building a monkey cage that is almost finished. The cage will have artificial trees for the monkeys to climb and find protection from the weather.
The set up, intended to keep the monkeys stress-free will also include ropes to swing on and a big water area to play in.
The cage is being created to imitate the monkeys’ natural home, and their actions will be observed to make necessary changes to the space..
This temporary shelter aims to offer the monkeys the most authentic living conditions imaginable
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This article by Joe Faretra was first published by The Daily Star on 8 December 2023. Lead Image: Officials and residents in Phetchaburi have swung into action to deal with the growing number of monkeys (Image: Getty Images).