Not so cute now: monkeys terrorise tourist-free town

Font Size:

Lopburi is an 800-year-old city in central Thailand. It’s famous for its temples, rock formations and sunflower fields – oh, and the marauding gangs of monkeys that have terrorised the streets since the pandemic struck.

Prior to the outbreak of coronavirus, tourists flocked to Lopburi to photograph and play with the monkeys that call the city home. However, the monkeys grew dependent on the symbiotic relationship they had with the tourists, exchanging their presence in – admittedly adorable – selfies for fruit and sweets.

The monkey population has boomed in recent years, largely due to the abundance of sugary foods provided by tourists. Pramot Ketampai, who manages the city’s Prang Sam Yod temples, noted, “The more they eat, the more energy they have … so they breed more.”

The monkeys have now found themselves overpopulated, overcrowded and out of food. They have been wreaking havoc on the city’s residents ever since the tourists stopped visiting earlier in the year. Locals have been forced to barricade themselves inside their homes. Those who do go outside risk being attacked or mugged by gangs of monkeys. Some residents have even been forced out of their own homes after monkey invasions.

The primates break windows, damage cars and steal groceries. “We live in a cage, but the monkeys live outside,” said Kuljira Taechawattanawanna, a resident of Lopburi. “Their excrement is everywhere; the smell is unbearable, especially when it rains.”

The absence of food has driven the monkeys to fight for turf in the city. Monkeys living at the Prang Sam Yod temples launched an attack on the monkeys living at the Phra Kan shrine earlier this year. Footage of this attack went viral, as the warring monkeys stopped traffic as they screeched and battled on the roads.

The monkeys have reportedly taken up residence in an abandoned cinema. They use the projection room as a makeshift graveyard, where they lay their dead to rest.

Veterinarian Supakarn Kaewchot said: “They’re so used to having tourists feed them and the city provides no space for them to fend for themselves.

“With the tourists gone, they have been more aggressive, fighting humans for food to survive,” she said. “They are invading buildings and forcing locals to flee their homes.”

Finally, authorities have decided to step in. The wildlife department has restarted a sterilisation program. They use fruit to lure monkeys into cages, then take them to a clinic where they are anaesthetised and sterilised. These monkeys are then given a small tattoo to mark them as desexed.

Have you posed for photos with monkeys on your travels? What do you think will happen to the monkeys living in Lopburi?

If you enjoy our content, don’t keep it to yourself. Share our free eNews with your friends and encourage them to sign up.

Join YourLifeChoices today
and get this free eBook!

Join
By joining YourLifeChoices you consent that you have read and agree to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy

RELATED LINKS

Tigers may become extinct within a decade

Here's how to see them ethically and support their survival.

Aussie travellers given the green light to travel in EU nations

Australia and 17 other countries have been granted access to EU nations.

Calls to cull Aussie bats overlook just why we need them

No, Aussie bats won't give you COVID-19. We rely on them more than you think.

Written by Liv Gardiner

3 Comments

Total Comments: 3
  1. 0
    0

    Drastic times call for drastic measures a culling program would be the answer ( I think )

    • 0
      0

      They are intelligent starving primates. It is such an upsetting article. Surely it can’t be that difficult to find food for them. Sterilization is the most human answer.
      To have them using a cinema as a graveyard. That is so unbelievably sad.

  2. 0
    0

    This is also a common problem in many areas of India, where people have to fence themselves in for fear of monkeys invading the home. Windows and verandahs are all barred, monkeys wreak havoc on rooftops, steal anything they can and take it apart.


FACEBOOK COMMENTS



SPONSORED LINKS

continue reading

Entertainment

Friday Funnies: Short jokes for the shortest month

February flies by too fast, just like these short but sharp jokes. What is the recipe for Honeymoon Salad?Lettuce alone...

Food

Succulent Spice-Roasted Salmon

These little salmon bites are something I've made time and time again over the years and this method of roasting...

Photos

How to take great pictures of gardens

If you've never been too good at taking pictures of your beautiful blooms, now's the time to brush up on...

Aged Care

Paid on par with cleaners: the broader issue affecting aged care

Paid on par with cleaners: the broader issue affecting the quality of aged care Ben Farr-Wharton, Edith Cowan University; Matthew...

Food

Researchers fear diet produces ‘untoward effects on the heart’

The keto diet, lauded for its purported fat-burning capabilities, could be bad for your heart, according to new research. The...

COVID-19

Vaccine overdose cases raise questions over doctor training

Australia's vaccine rollout suffered a major hiccup, with health minister Greg Hunt revealing on Wednesday that two elderly residents at...

Retirement Income

Why middle-income Australians are the big losers in retirement

Australia's middle-income earners are losing out when it comes to retirement income. That's the view of Mercer's senior partner, David...

Food

Nine food and heart health myths busted

Should you cook with butter or olive oil? Is that drink of red wine protecting your heart? Pink Himalayan salt is healthy, right? There...

LOADING MORE ARTICLE...