The meeting was held at the Chalerm Phrakiet Rama 9 Hall on Soi Tah Jeen, in Rassada, with 68 local residents in attendance, explained Natawan Jumlongkat, Director of Phuket Provincial Environment Office.
“Everyone who joined the hearing voted yesterday,” Mr Natawan said.
“It is good feedback to solve the problem together,” he added.
In addition to the feedback form to be completed, as announced on Monday (see story here), as a simple way to gauge public opinion on two key issues attendees were asked to vote by a show of hands on two questions:
1) Do you want to the population of the monkeys to be controlled?
2) Do you want you the monkeys to be relocated?
A total of 66 people voted in support of “population control” measures of the monkeys, while one voter disagreed.
Further, only 55 of the 68 people present voted in support of having the monkeys moved. Four people disagreed, and nine people abstained.
Mr Natawan urged local residents to join public feedback meetings yet to be held in other areas.
“The next public hearing will be held at the Phuket Homeless Centre, in Rassada on Thursday (May 24), from 9 am until noon,” he noted.
The remaining meetings will be held at the following locations:
- 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
The collated feedback from all the meetings will used in deciding what will happen to the monkeys, Pongchart Chouehorm, who 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, announced on Monday.
Meanwhile, Mr Natawan repeated the call for tourists to be careful when near wild monkey troupes on the island.
“Tourists, especially foreigners, should be careful as wild monkeys may carry tuberculosis and encephalitis, and rabies too,” he said.