Curse and blessing

Monkey gangs terrorize vacation resort in Thailand

02.04.2024 11:21

The Thai town of Lopburi is not only popular with tourists, but also with monkeys. However, the latter are increasingly becoming a problem, as the primates roam the streets in gangs, causing damage and stealing from locals and holidaymakers alike. A separate police unit is now taking action against the fur-bearing troublemakers - but the macaques are not to be missed completely.

"I am aware of the potential danger posed by monkeys. They have started posing a threat to tourists and locals," Police Major General Apirak Wechkanchana explained the macaque problem in the town to the Daily Mail.

Monkeys already recognize stun guns
Police officers used slingshots to drive away the pests. Particularly bad offenders are caught and relocated. But it's not that easy, because the animals are very clever: "We had to hide our faces and the tranquillizer guns so that the monkeys couldn't see them," says an employee of the Ministry of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation.

Police success: gang leader caught
Most recently, "Ai Krao", the leader of a gang of monkeys, was caught. The culprit was notorious among traders and drivers for his aggressiveness. He was sedated and taken to a place.

Monkeys are both a curse and a blessing
Although the monkeys have occupied empty buildings and fought gang battles in the city, the locals do not want to do without the animals completely: Because although they cause so much damage and trouble, they also bring in money: they are the reason why tourists from all over the world pay Lopburi a visit. The tourists like to feed the monkeys with treats. There is also an annual festival for the monkeys: A sumptuous buffet is provided for the macaques.

The Thai government is also trying other methods to get the macaque problem under control. The monkey population in the country is to be controlled through mass sterilization, the creation of protected areas and resettlement programmes.

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