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The long standing conflict between hundreds of residents in Bangkok’s Bang Kradi community of Bang Khun Thien district and some 400 macaque monkeys was partly resolved after national park and wildlife conservation authorities decided to force evacuate the animals to new homes in the wilderness of Ratchaburi province.
The mission was conducted by authorities from the Department of National Parks, Wildlife, and Plant Conservation (DNP) and the target is at the Bang Kradi community in Moo 8 of Samae Dam subdistrict, Bang Khun Thian district in the southern part of Bangkok.
Authorities said they received latest complaints a few months ago that hundreds of macaques have been causing local residents even more hardships although this has happened over a decade but nothing had been done so far to ease the situation.
Public hearings were called twice between all concerned government agencies and environmentalists, and community residents. They all agreed that the macaques have to be evacuated to new homes in Ratchaburi.
The situation in this community was worsened to the extent that here monkeys could go free and residents have to stay in cages as their homes will be fixed with fences which can prevent monkeys from entering to ransack their houses for food, damaging properties and sometimes assaulting the aged and the children.
The operation then started early this month bringing with them a 2X2-metre cage that was 20 metres long.
They left the cage in the middle of the community, leaving fruits for the monkeys every morning since September 5 to make the monkeys acquainted with the entry to the cage to eat the fruits inside.
Residents were also instructed to advise tourists not to feed the monkeys at random but put in the cage so as to attract them to the cage.
It was until yesterday that the D-day started.
DNP director general Niphon Chotiban said a total of 80 monkeys were trapped in the cage yesterday.
They would be sent to the Phan Thai Norasing wildlife sanctuary in Samut Sakhon province where they would be first undergone health examinations and size determination to make sure they are healthy and not disease carriers before they would be freed into the wilderness.
He said the monkeys would then be separated into two groups, where one group would be moved to the Khao Son wildlife breeding centre in Ratchaburi province, while the other group would be delivered to the Kon Khun Kala island in Bang Khun Thian district.
A veterinarian said birth control was first tested but it was not successful not only because of the hefty cost of 500 baht for a male monkey or 1,000 baht for a female monkey, but also from changing behaviour of the animal.
She said veterinarian used to conduct surgical sterilisation on the leader male monkey by cutting its sex organ to curb overpopulation of monkeys.
But it turned out that the behaviour of the male monkey turned to act like female and the new leader will come to take the leader role of the herd.
Therefore veterinarians are trying other method to control its population, one of which was to evacuate them to other places though Bang Kradi used to be the animal’s inhabitant long ago, but later invaded by the people.