Lop Buri’s growing macaque population to be relocated by DNP

Photo courtesy of Bangkok Post

An increasing macaque population has taken over downtown Lop Buri, prompting the Department of National Parks, Wildlife, and Plant Conservation (DNP) to intervene. Athapol Charoenshunsa, the department chief, has unveiled plans to relocate these monkeys once their new holding facility is ready.

Currently, an estimated 2,200 macaques are roaming freely within the city’s bounds, causing disruptions to local businesses and posing a potential hazard to pedestrians. To mitigate this, the DNP has split the operation into two phases.

The first phase will focus on approximately 700 macaques in a specific city block where their presence has been most disruptive. This phase will commence once the holding facility in the Po Kao Ton subdistrict in the Mueang district is ready. At present, the facility is undergoing renovations and will feature three spacious enclosures.

The second phase of the operation, planned for next year, will involve the removal of an additional 1,400 macaques residing in other parts of the city centre. Some of these locations include the 13th-century temple Phra Prang Sam Yot, the Phra Kan Shrine, and a motorcycle taxi queue nearby. The macaques from these areas will also be relocated to the Po Kao Ton centre.

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The DNP has prepared for a situation where the centre may run out of space. In such a case, the overflow of macaques will be accommodated in a facility at Wat Phra Bat Nampoo, also in the Mueang district, and other nearby locations.

The strategy for capturing the macaques involves using food as bait to lure them into large cages. To increase the chances of success, the monkeys will be allowed to freely enter and exit the cages for two days, decreasing their suspicion and facilitating a larger capture.

Since beginning this operation on March 25, park officials have successfully caught 37 monkeys identified as pack leaders. Fifteen were relocated to Lop Buri Zoo, while the others were moved to a wildlife clinic at the Protected Area Regional Office 1 in Saraburi.

Before the monkeys are moved to the Po Kao Ton facility, they will undergo sterilisation, reported Bangkok Post.

This operation is a necessary step in managing the escalating macaque population in Lop Buri, ensuring the safety and functionality of the city for its residents and businesses.

Central Thailand NewsEnvironment NewsThailand News

Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.

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