About 6,000 wild macaques have made parts of Lopburi, a city in Thailand unsafe for people to take to the streets. In fact, the situation has gotten so out of hand that residents have to cordon off their terraces and gardens with bars. “We live in a cage, but the monkeys live outside,” explains one inhabitant.
The city, in the north of the capital Bangkok, has seen its monkey population increase in recent years. In the last three years, the number of monkeys has even doubled.
But tourists who brought bananas to lure the macaques for a photo have made the living conditions there become optimal for the primates, so they were able to reproduce quickly.
However, due to the outbreak of the coronavirus, there have hardly been any tourists in the city in recent months, with the result that the macaques have become violent in search of food.
According to locals, some of the animals have taken over an abandoned cinema where they now live. Not much further, a shop owner had to put some stuffed animals in his display window to scare off the macaques who regularly come to steal from it.
Due to the lack of tourists and their bananas, the animals go looking for leftovers of fast food and sweets. “The more of these they eat, the more energy they have, and the faster they reproduce,” it sounds.
The city council is now starting a sterilization program to reduce the number of primates. By Friday, the city plans to sterilize 500 animals.