Monkeys are conquering the streets of Thailand



Six months in and the world is still combating the unpredicted consequences of the coronavirus. From collapsed economies to crazy conspiracy theories, this worldwide health crisis is impacting everyone and almost everything. However, unlike the rest of the world, Thailand is now facing an unusual consequence of the nationwide lockdown. The streets are filled with angry and hungry gangs of monkeys fighting each other for food.

Thailand before the virus

The international health crisis left a huge blow on Thailand’s tourism industry. Before, monkeys relied on tourists’ generosity to eat in a city where they cant find a way to fend for themselves. During normal times, The macaques attracted tourists to the city. In return, tourists would buy bananas to feed those animals and take photos with them. Thus, when the lockdown stopped tourists from entering the country, the animals went wild and disrupted the delicate co-existing balance between them and the humans.

Monkey gangs overrun the city

The world dupped Lopburi as the city of monkeys for its wide population of monkeys. However, the once cute tourist-attracting animals have turned into a loud, stinky, aggressive, and highly visible threat. They forced the citizens into a double lockdown where people are afraid of both the virus and their antics.
Tables have turned, animals are now roaming the streets freely while the humans are caged inside their homes. The city even designated several no go zones to keep the locals safe. Moreover, many civilians are covering their terraces and verandas with netting to keep the hungry animals from raiding their homes. However, even with all these precautions, they still suffer from the unbearable smell. Of course, things even turn a lot worse once it rains.

Energetic, violent, and horny

At first, locals tried to keep them at bay by throwing them some food. However, this only made them more violent as they fought one another and humans for the food scraps. Furthermore, the more they eat, the more energy they get. They then use this energy to breed more, overpopulating the city with their kind. Since they don’t have to hunt for food, they have more energy to spare for things like breeding and fighting.

Moreover, they are invading homes and stores to steal food. Thus, they force humans to leave their homes during the lockdown.

Sterilization as a solution

Since the problem kept on getting worse during these months, Thailand’s Department of National Parks has launched a plan to solve this problem. They intend to sterilize some 500 monkeys, as means of curbing the monkey population in the city. They are capturing monkeys from the streets, sedating, and castrating them. Then they release them back to the streets with reference numbers tattooed on their bodies.

The program is only meant to slow their reproduction rate. Authorities are not aiming to hurt the current population. Moreover, this process is only taking place in the cities and for animals living in the wild.

Other long-term solutions’

The city’s wildlife department hopes to provide a new monkey sanctuary building as a long-term solution to the current problem. However, they need to survey the people living in the area before starting anything, since many of the locals want them gone for good.

On the other hand, some locals admitted to getting fond of the animals. They want Lopburi to stay the monkey still, but without turning to the monkey’s city.

Creating a solution that ought to satisfy all parties is going to be hard. The current virus also will stand in the way of any process. However, hopefully, Thailand will find a way to coexist yet once again with these monkeys.

For more Click


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Jones, H. (2020, March 13). Monkeys swarm Thailand in the hunt for food normally given to them by tourists. Metro. https://metro.co.uk/2020/03/13/monkeys-swarm-thailand-hunt-food-normally-given-tourists-12394563/

Langlois, S. (2020, March 12). ‘This is how Planet of the Apes starts’ — As coronavirus slams Thailand tourism, monkeys brawl in the streets. MarketWatch. https://www.marketwatch.com/story/this-is-how-planet-of-the-apes-starts-as-coronavirus-slams-thailand-tourism-monkeys-brawl-in-the-streets-2020-03-12

Ratcliffe, R. (2020, March 18). Mass monkey brawl highlights the coronavirus effect on Thailand tourism. The Guardian. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/mar/13/fighting-monkeys-highlight-effect-of-coronavirus-on-thailand-tourism

Smith, N. (2020, June 24). Residents surrender Thai city to monkey gangs headquartered in an abandoned cinema. The Telegraph. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/06/24/hungry-monkeys-run-riot-thai-temple-town/

“We live in a cage”: residents hide as macaque “gangs” take over Thai city. (2020, June 24). The Guardian. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/jun/24/we-live-in-a-cage-residents-hide-as-macaque-gangs-take-over-thai-city


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