Monkeys in the central province of Lopburi are becoming more aggressive, leading to officials undertaking a mass vaccination of the fierce animals.
Due to the lack of tourism in Lopburi, caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the usually well-fed monkeys have been hunting for food on the streets of the city, causing concern among local residents.
A video captured by a local shows tens of monkeys aggressively fighting and chasing each other in the middle of Lopburi. When one monkey grabs a banana, the other scream and pursues the one holding the food.
In an attempt to control the situation, officials set traps across the city on Sunday, capturing some monkeys and taking them to a state veterinary hospital for spraying.
The annual scheme aims to sterilize the hundreds of monkeys who reside in Lopburi and control their aggression on the streets.
Director of the Wildlife Conservation Department, Narongporn Dodduem, said the move to catch and spray as many monkeys as possible has the backing of local residents.
He said that some of the monkeys had broken into properties and caused tens of thousands of baht worth of damage, leading to an outcry from locals fed up.
Referencing the difficulty of catching the monkeys, Mr. Dodduem said:
“The officers must be well trained as the monkeys can fight back. These monkeys know about the traps and will not be caught easily. They are pretty smart.”
He added that officials may use tranquilizers to catch additional monkeys on occasion if the traps do not snare enough animals.
Despite this, the Wildlife Conservation Department Director said that calls to transport the monkeys away from the city and into forested areas were dismissed.
He said the monkeys were not equipped to survive in the wild and so will remain in Lopburi.