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Public to decide fate of Phuket’s trouble-making monkeys

PHUKET: Officials will hold a public meeting next month to come up with ways to deal with the island’s growing monkey population that has become menace to residents and tourists.

By Bangkok Post

Tuesday 15 May 2018, 09:01AM

Many of the estimated 1,000 monkeys are tourist-friendly but management of the park on Monkey Hill have banned visitors from feeding them. Photo: Screengrab via BalochonMove / YouTube

Many of the estimated 1,000 monkeys are tourist-friendly but management of the park on Monkey Hill have banned visitors from feeding them. Photo: Screengrab via BalochonMove / YouTube

The meeting will be open to residents, representatives from the tourism industry, provincial officials and animal lovers to exchange ideas and propose solutions, said a source from a provincial panel set up to deal with the problem.

The province has been facing a growing monkey population despite attempts – including sterilisation – by authorities to contain their numbers.

“If people think that sterilisation is enough, we will continue that course of action,” said the panel source.

“But if they agree with our plan to relocate them to several islands, we will do it. All problem-solving decisions will be made by the people,” the source added.

Relocation to unpopulated islands is among the options the panel is weighing up.

It has already looked at five locations – Koh Ngam, Koh Payu, Koh Tanan, Koh Pae and Koh Malee.

All of these islands have enough natural food and freshwater resources to sustain them and ensure their survival, the source said.

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If the relocation idea gets the nod at the public hearing next month, the monkeys will be neutered before being sent to whichever island, the source added.

A growing monkey population has become a problem for Phuket since 2015, partly because of people feeding them.

The monkeys have reportedly become more aggressive by stealing food, snatching tourists’ belongings, and in residential areas, breaking into houses and damaging property and belongings.

There are seven areas in the province heavily populated by monkeys.

They are Khao Rang, a famous sightseeing spot in Kho To Sae district, Bang Rong Pier in Thalang district, Soi Tachin and King Kaew Soi 9 in Maung Phuket district and Ban Yamu in Thalang district and Koh Siray in Maung district, known as a popular spot to observe monkeys.

It is estimated that there are over 1,000 monkeys living in the province, most of which are long-tailed macaque and pig-tailed macaque.

Read original story here.



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Timothy | 16 May 2018 - 09:22:57

Look what happened with the tuk tuk drivers. Nothing was done to control their numbers, now they are everywhere. Peeing in bushes, harassing tourists. They have total control over all parking and block sidewalks. The become aggressive without warning and are a detriment to the island. Why not relocate them?  

Island Man | 16 May 2018 - 07:50:43

Neuter the people who keep feeding the monkeys.

vegasbaby | 15 May 2018 - 19:10:47

We need to relocate the politicians and not the monkeys.

Asterix | 15 May 2018 - 17:02:42

Monkeys are not the problem but local folks and tourists are wrong to give them food or teasing them for fun.

Some monkey families may be moved but fining all wrongdoers would be the best way to reduce the monkeys to be aggressive for food.

Monkeys were there before humans came to settle in Phuket; so we need to respect them.

Aj Raymond RITCHIE | 15 May 2018 - 16:24:45

PSU-Phuket has a small troupe of about 20 individuals.  They do not seem to cause much trouble, in fact they are surprisingly well behaved. Maybe it is the academic environment.

Kurt | 15 May 2018 - 13:40:49

Sterilisation?  Hehe.  Nonsens talk.
..."despite attempts"... What attempts? 
Not sterilisation, that for sure came not further than desk talks seen the growing population.
Transferring them to small islands is a bad idea. Within a number of years you have a inbreeded population, and so asking for future health problems for the monkeys and human.

CaptainJack69 | 15 May 2018 - 11:15:13

If they're being sterilized how can the population be increasing? So the authorities are just 'trying' to sterilize them then? So how about when they 'try' to relocate them?

If the monkeys were properly sterilized then there would be no need to waste time money and resources on any further action.

Asterix | 15 May 2018 - 09:42:06

There are many mangroves in Phuket, Phang-Nga and Krabi without monkeys because monkeys were killed for meat; so why not catch them and send them to what they belong: mangroves instead of isolated islands with limited food and water especially during the dry season and where they will have problem of inbreeding on long term.

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