Stop the Monkey Mayhem! | God's World News
Stop the Monkey Mayhem!
News Shorts
Posted: April 05, 2024
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    Monkeys eat fruit during the monkey feast festival in Lopburi, Thailand. (AP/Chalida EKvitthayavechnukul)
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    Monkeys eat fruit during the monkey feast festival. The macaques have struggled for a decade to live at peace with people. (AP/Chalida EKvitthayavechnukul)
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When you walk out your front door, are you ever afraid of a monkey attack?

People in Lopburi, Thailand, sometimes are. The city is filled with macaques (muh-KAKs). Now wildlife officials have a plan to get them under control.

Some tourists visit Lopburi just to hang out with the monkeys. But the monkeys can be aggressive. After a decade of dealing with the wild animals, residents and business owners finally say, “Enough!”

The macaques often try to snatch food from humans. And sometimes, of course, humans want to keep their food. The result? Scratches and other injuries. In March, people got extra angry at the animals. A monkey pulled a woman off her feet while trying to grab her food. The woman dislocated her knee. Another monkey knocked a man from a motorcycle.

The plan: Round up some 2,500 urban monkeys. Place them in massive enclosures. Work with wildlife experts to find a way for some monkeys to stay in the city.

 Athapol Charoenshunsa runs the Department of National Parks, Wildlife, and Plant Conservation. “I don’t want humans to have to hurt monkeys, and I don’t want monkeys to have to hurt humans,” he says.

So the catching program has begun. Catchers focus on grabbing aggressive males. They have caught 37 monkeys so far. Some animals are sent to wildlife authorities in another region. Others go to the Lopburi zoo.

Mr. Athapol says he thinks the huge cages “will solve the problem very quickly.”

But officials have tried to fix the problem other times without success. They decided to fine people for feeding monkeys anywhere except a few spots in the city. Aggressive monkeys flocked to those areas. Meanwhile, gangs of monkeys started bugging humans for food in other places.

One official says people shouldn’t blame the monkeys. They don’t have enough natural food supply, so they have to find food somehow.

“And to every beast of the Earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the Earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so. —  Genesis 1:30