The issue, cutely described as “birth control”, will be asked in feedback questionnaires handed out at the public forums, Pongchart Chouehorm, explained at the monthly Governor Meets The Press Meeting held at Provincial Hall today (May 21).
Mr Pongchart, as Director of the Natural and Wildlife Education Centre at Khao Phra Thaew Non-Hunting Area in Thalang, is the officer responsible for the protection and conservation of all natural wildlife on the island.
Other questions to be put to the public include: Are the monkeys annoying? Do people go to visit the monkeys? and Should we allow the monkeys to stay where they are now?
The meetings will be held from tomorrow through to next Monday (May 28) in locales on Phuket where troupes of wild monkeys already thrive, identified at the meeting as: Bangrong Pier and Baan Yamu in Pa Khlok; Soi Tah Jeen, Kingkaew Soi 9 and Koh Siray, all in Rassada; as well as Khao Rang (Rang Hill) and Khao Toh Sae (Toh Sae Hill) in Phuket Town.
Warning signs will also be posted in these areas, after Phuket Governor Norraphat Plodthong gave his permission today.
Mr Pongchart explained that the warning signs will carrying messages such as: “Watch out! Monkeys bite!”; “Don’t snatch food away from monkeys”; “Don’t hurt and touch monkeys”; “Don’t leave food outside the car” and the more expected “Please cooperate with officials to protect your assets, health, life, yourself and your friends”.
“I don’t want people to touch monkeys anymore. They carry diseases,” Mr Pongchart said, noting that wild monkeys may carry tuberculosis and Encephalitis.
However, he did not mention rabies.
Governor Norraphat urged people to take part in the meetings to ensure that officials had good understanding of public opinion on what to do with Phuket’s ever-growing monkey populations on the island.
“The public hearings are a really important was to have local residents help solve the monkey issue. Let’s go ahead with them and see what the public hearings say,” Gov Norraphat said.
The public hearings, to start at 9am and finish at about noon, will be held at the following locations:
- May 22 - Chalerm Phrakiet Rama 9 Hall on Soi Tah Jeen, in Rassada
- May 24 - Phuket Homeless Centre, in Rassada
- May 25 - Chalerm Sammanakit Hall at Wat Charoen Samanakit (Wat Lang San), located behind Phuket Provincial Court, in Phuket Town
- May 27 - Chalerm Phrakiet King Kaew Phatthana Hall, in Rassada
- May 28 - Wat Khao Rang (Rang Hill Temple), in Phuket Town
“After we have collated all the feedback from the meetings, we will announce the feedback we have received and what we plan to do with the monkeys,” Mr Pongchart said today.
The results of the feedback questionnaires will be announced on June 30, he added.