Monkeys ‘terrorize the town’ as rival gangs fight over food and territory

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Wild monkeys are rampaging through a town, terrorizing the residents and wreaking havoc as they clash in turf wars.

The city of Lopburi in Thailand is famous for its sprawling population of macaques, which attracts tourists from all over the world.

However, the pandemic has seen the population multiply dramatically. It also gave the monkeys better access to snacks and sugary drinks, with some apparently becoming addicted.

Tourists have been able to return to Lopburi since November, but they are returning to a beleaguered city.

Supakarn Kaewchot, a government veterinarian, explained: “The monkeys are so used to tourists feeding them and the city offers no space for them to fend for themselves.

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They were spotted stealing people’s belongings from their hands

“As the tourists left, they became more aggressive, fighting humans for food. They invade buildings and force residents to flee their homes.”

Footage captured this week shows the monkeys gathering en masse, tearing up wrapped candies as well as more traditional bananas.

They have also been spotted climbing on moving cars, stealing from shops, snatching humans and fighting violently as they compete for food and territory.



The monkeys besiege the city and terrorize the inhabitants as they steal food and fight for territory
The monkey population has multiplied dramatically during the lockdown in Thailand

Having coexisted alongside humans for some time, the apes developed a fearlessness that became a growing problem for authorities.

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In 2020, several animals were sterilized to curb population growth, but to no avail.

Environmental officer Narongporn Daudduem has now said there are plans to build a sanctuary for the macaques, but the idea is not expected to be welcomed by townspeople.



The monkeys besiege the city and terrorize the inhabitants as they steal food and fight for territory
There have even been reports of monkeys “invading people’s homes”

“We need to do a survey of people living in the area first,” he said.

“It’s like throwing trash in front of their house and asking them if they’re happy or not.”

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Authorities are still under pressure to do something about the problem given the series of recent monkey-related incidents.

When Thailand was locked down in March 2020, Lopburi became an animal war zone as they openly fought over leftovers.



The monkeys besiege the city and terrorize the inhabitants as they steal food and fight for territory
Authorities say they could build a sanctuary for the monkeys, but locals are likely to resist the move

In another incident in February last year, the monkeys invaded a school swimming pool and scoured the bins, looking for a meal.

The locals took it upon themselves to feed them fast food to avoid fighting, but this only led them to search more ferociously for food.

“The more they eat, the more energy they have,” said Pramot Ketampai, who runs a shrine temple in Lopburi.

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