The brochure has been produced in four languages – Thai, English, Russian and Chinese – explained Pongchart Chouehorm, Director of the Natural and Wildlife Education Centre at Khao Phra Theaw nature reserve in Thalang.
Mr Pongchart presented copies of the pamphlet to the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) and Ministry of Tourism and Sports offices in Phuket on Tuesday (Nov 27).
“And that evening I gave copies to mayors and local municipalities,” Mr Pongchart said.
“The pamphlet has been created for tourists, and being handed out to officials so they can share them with tourists in their areas of responsibility,” he explained.
“Then tourists will understand exactly how to behave around monkeys. A full, correct understanding of this will reduce and solve the problems that monkeys cause for people, and people will be prevented from behaviour that causes harms to monkeys,” Mr Pongchart said.
The pamphlets, very similar to the warning signs posted earlier this year (see story here), warn tourists not to feed monkeys outside of dedicated areas, not to tease monkeys with food, and not to aggravate monkeys, with a specific warning to beware aggressive monkeys that may bite them.
The pamphlets also explain that serious diseases that can be contracted through contact with wild monkeys include Herpes B, rabies, tuberculosis and Hepatitis A and B.
The pamphlets plainly explain that the rules apply to tour guides also, and copies of the pamphlet are already being handed out to tour operators, hotels and taxi drivers on the island.
Earlier this year hundreds of monkeys were removed from areas where residents complained that they had become a nuisance and were presenting a health threat, with entire troupes moved to Koh Thanan (see story here) and Koh Payu (see story here), both small islands off Pa Khlok.
However, many of the monkeys were released back into areas where they were already living as residents had approved for the wild troupes to stay (see story here).