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Monkey neutering resumed in Phuket following complaints by residents

Monkey neutering resumed in Phuket following complaints by residents

PHUKET: Public complaints about the perpetual disturbance from wild monkeys in Rassada have pushed local officials to resume their catch-and-neuter campaign on the eastern outskirts of Phuket Town.

By The Phuket News

Saturday 22 April 2023, 10:54AM

The new round of the campaign started on Thursday (Apr 20) when wildlife officials came to Soi King Kaew 9 in Rassada to install traps and catch at least some of the local pigtail macaques known in Thai as Ling Kai Tai, or just ’southern monkeys’.

Local wildlife officials were led by Pongchart Chouehorm, Chief of the Nature and Wildlife Education Centre at Khao Phra Thaew, who had been overseeing the previous rounds of the mass sterilisation campaign continuing since 2018.

Joining Mr Pongchart and his team were wildlife experts from Phanthai Norasing Non-Hunting Area in Samut Sakhon Province, Mr Pongchart explained in a publication on Facebook.

Mr Pongchart said that Soi King Kaew residents had been complaining of macaques “continuously coming to annoy people and demolish property of the villagers in many small alleys of the King Kaew Uthit community.”

Previously Mr Pongchart had already listed the said community among the seven key areas where big groups of monkeys are found in Phuket. They were named as follows: Khao Rang Hill, Khao Toh Sae (Monkey Hill), Soi Thachean, King Kaew Soi 9, Koh Siray, Bang Rong Pier and Yamu Village.

“This mass sterilisation is a project by the Phuket Provincial Administrative Office [PPAO, or OrBorJor] in order to reduce the number of wild monkeys and to protect local people and tourists from problems that could made by monkeys and communicable disease from monkeys to humans,” Mr Pongchart also added during the 2020 round of the campaign.

Mr Pongchart didn’t elaborate on how long the current offensive on Phuket macaques will last, or how many animals the officials are aiming to catch and neuter.

The most recent round of the campaign in 2020 saw nearly 200 macaques trapped, neutered and released back into the wild at the Khao Phra Thaew nature reserve in Thalang in just three days (Sept 19-21).

However, the most well known episode in the ongoing money wars in Phuket took place in 2018 when two whole troupes of neutered monkeys were relocated to the uninhabited islands of Koh Thanan and Koh Payu, both off Phuket’s east coast. Nothing has been reported about them since.

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JohnC | 24 April 2023 - 09:10:56

Macaques are quite competent swimmers. Wouldn't surprise me to learn they swam back to Phuket from their island prisons.


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