A zookeeper is demanding compensation from Khao Kheow Open Zoo in Chon Buri after she got bitten by wild monkeys at work. The animal keeper said she paid nearly 100,000 baht for treatment but got only 3,000 baht from her employer in return.
A 54 year old woman named Mon, who worked at Khao Kheow Open Zoo, yesterday filed a complaint with the non-profit organization Pavena Foundation for Children and Women.
Mon explained that the wild monkeys living outside the zoo would often get into the zoo, annoy visitors, and attack staff. Mon said she was attacked twice within two months and paid nearly 100,000 baht for treatment.
Mon reported that the zoo did not provide any help and did not have any measures to deal with the monkey issue.
The Thai news agency, Siamrath, reported that about 1,000 wild monkeys live near Khao Kheow Open Zoo according to a zoo survey in 2012.
Mon revealed that the first attack happened on August 31 of this year. A monkey stole a snack from a child, so she tried to protect the visitor and threw a rock at it. She said the monkey turned on her and bit her head. She needed 14 stitches which cost 52,645 baht (US$1,500). Her insurance covered 50,000 baht of the treatment but she had to pay the rest out of her savings.
Mon added that the zoo did not approve any budget to support her other than a paltry 3,000 baht.
Mon was attacked again on Monday, October 24. She said a monkey stole some vegetables prepared for zoo animals. She tried to chase it away by firing a catapult at it which only made the monkey angry and, as a consequence, bit her face. Mon received 38 stitches for this wound. Treatment cost 41,034 baht but the zoo only gave her 10,000 baht.
Mon said she worked at the zoo for 20 years and received a monthly salary of about 9,000 baht.
She said she worked at the zoo during the pandemic but they did not care about the workers’ safety. Mon revealed that her colleagues were also scared of the wild monkeys and that there was a danger they could bite visitors too.
The Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, Varawut Silpa-archa, insisted today that Khao Kheow Open Zoo did take care of the treatment costs and did not ignore the issue.
Varawut made known that the officers would investigate how and why the wild monkeys got into the zoo and would bring in measures to solve the problem.
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