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Monkey mayhem: Lopburi targets macaques at historic landmarks

Picture courtesy of Andre Mouton from pexels.com

Efforts to control the monkey population in Lopburi are now focusing on the notorious trouble spots: the 13th-century Phra Prang Sam Yot and Phra Kan Shrine. Following successful operations in other downtown areas, the city’s macaque catchers are gearing up to address the primary problem at these historic sites.

Lopburi Mayor Chamroen Salacheep announced that the primary focus is shifting to these iconic landmarks, which are overrun by macaques. However, catchers will resume their work only after the construction of new cages to house the captured animals, as the existing ones are already at full capacity.

Three new large cages are being built by the province and municipality to contain the mischievous monkeys. These primates are notorious for raiding local homes and businesses, as well as attacking unsuspecting tourists who offer them food, said the mayor.

“We have not caught them in those areas yet because we don’t have enough cages, Please be patient. Our existing cages are fully occupied.”

The mayor anticipates that the next phase of the operation will start later this week, to make the city free of roaming monkeys by the end of the year.

Phra Prang Sam Yot and Phra Kan Shrine, both significant historical landmarks in Lopburi, have become less attractive to tourists due to aggressive macaques. Many visitors are deterred by stories of the monkeys’ attacks.

Since the operation started in mid-May, workers from the Department of National Parks, Wildlife, and Plant Conservation, the city municipality, and other agencies have captured 1,191 long-tailed macaques. The municipality is currently caring for 1,038 of these monkeys, while the rest have been relocated, according to data released yesterday.

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The initial focus was on monkeys causing problems for residents and businesses in downtown areas, before expanding to other sites.

The mayor assured that the economic activities in Lopburi will be revitalised after the operation.

With over 1,000 monkeys now under care, the municipality is seeking donations of food for the animals and encouraging people to feed them. Wat Sao Thong Thong in Muang district has joined the effort, organising a ceremony every Sunday for people to donate fruit, vegetables, and other leftovers for the captured macaques, reported Bangkok Post.

Thailand News

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