Lopburi, Thailand, Plans To ‘Jail’ Thousands Of Monkeys In Last-Ditch Effort: REPORT

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Ilan Hulkower Contributor
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Thai wildlife officials want to round up some 2,500 macaques in the city of Lopburi and place them into massive enclosures, The Associated Press (AP) reported Wednesday.

The city has at least a decade-long conflict with the monkeys. Although a magnet for tourists, they’re also the cause of much mischief, according to The AP.

The mischievous macaques are known for trying to snatch food from humans to the point where fights between them have broken out, the outlet reported. These fights have led to humans suffering scratches and other wounds. One such example would be when a monkey dislocated a woman’s knee. Another one, who was reportedly hungry, knocked off a motorcyclist from his vehicle.

Officials tried to deal with the issue by neutering 2,600 monkeys from 2014-2023, but this failed to resolve the overpopulation problem, the New York Post reported. (RELATED: Plans For Breeding ‘City’ With 30,000 Monkeys Reportedly Sparks Backlash From Local Residents, Animal Rights Groups)

In response to these threats, Thai police formed a unique unit with special equipment to deal with the monkeys, the Daily Mail reported.

“I am aware of the potential danger from monkeys. They have started to pose a threat to tourists and locals. The slingshots now being carried by our officers will help to threaten the monkeys when necessary. In most cases they only need to use the slingshots as a deterrent, they don’t have to use objects to strike the monkeys,” said Police Major General Apirak Wechkanchana, commander of Lopburi Provincial Police, according to Daily Mail.

Thai authorities plan to permit a limited number of monkeys to stay in the city, according to The AP. “I don’t want humans to have to hurt monkeys, and I don’t want monkeys to have to hurt humans,” said Athapol Charoenshunsa, the director-general of the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation, The AP reported.

Authorities have already launched a monkey-catching operation that has so far managed to capture 37 monkeys and place them under the care of wildlife authorities and a zoo, according to The AP.