Officials have a plan to end years of monkey mayhem in Thailand

The monkeys are a symbol of the province, where the ancient Three Pagodas temple celebrates an annual “Monkey Buffet” festival, and they’re commonly seen throughout the city. Macaques are classified as a protected species under a national wildlife conservation law.

Some have blamed the monkey troubles on tourists and residents feeding the animals, which they say drew monkeys into the city and boosted their numbers, and made them accustomed to getting food by humans.

But an earlier effort to limit feeding may have made things worse, some residents say. Local officials began threatening fines for feeding monkeys outside a few designated areas around the main tourist attractions in recent years. But those feeding areas were dominated by a few troops of the highly territorial creatures, while rival bands grew hungry and turned to harassing humans in other areas even more.

Athapol said people shouldn’t see monkeys as villains, adding the authorities might have not been efficient enough in their work to control the simian population.

People also need to adapt to the city’s monkeys, said Phadej Laithong, director of the Wildlife Conservation Office, explaining that a lack of natural food sources prompts the animals to find food wherever they can.


Previous control measures have fallen short. From 2014-2023, the wildlife authorities neutered about 2600 Lopburi monkeys.

Athapol said 52 of the country’s 77 provinces report frequent problems from monkeys, and his department was working in other areas also, including Prajuab Kiri Khan and Phetchaburi.


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