Connect with us

Opinion

Ban monkey business

Legacy Phuket Gazette

Published

 on 

image
image

PHUKET: The recent introduction of two gibbons rescued in Phuket into the wilds of Northern Thailand is a landmark achievement for the Wild Animal Rescue Foundation of Thailand (WARF) and the many affiliated groups and volunteers who played roles in making it happen.

We join the rest of the island in thanking them all and wishing them the best of luck in their continuing efforts to help rescued gibbons regain a firm foothold – and handhold – in a region where they had once thrived.

The initial release area, a valley in the Pang Chum Pee Community Forest in Chiang Mai, carefully chosen by researchers, appears to be just the right kind of habitat in terms of food, forest canopy, water availability and climate.

However, it must also have one more vital component if these remarkable lesser apes stand any real chance of re-colonizing what is left of the northern jungles: a local community that is committed to the gibbons’ survival and willing to protect them in the wild.

While the new habitat remains home to some of the gibbon’s natural predators – such as eagles, pythons and wild cats – there is still no greater threat to their safety in the wild than mankind.

It is easy and appropriate to place blame on poachers who callously shoot gibbon mothers before making off with their babies to sell on the black market, regularly in Phuket. The even sadder reality, however, is that these criminals are just the tip of a colossal spear of human ignorance.

Demand for baby gibbons, as well as many other “exotic” animals, starts when ignorant tourists are willing to pay photo touts to have their picture taken with them. It is our collective shame that few places on Earth are more commonly associated with this practice than Phuket.

Fortunately, greater public awareness of the issue – in large part due to the efforts of groups such as WARF – has played a pivotal role in reducing demand. As a result, there have been far fewer reports of such “photo-touting”, especially those involving primates, in recent years.

Police enforcement of the numerous laws and regulations that are broken by photo touts has been poor to non-existent. So indifferent were police to the trade in the past that one officer, when asked why the practice was allowed to continue, actually quipped, “I am a person policeman, not a monkey policeman”.

Fortunately, that attitude has changed considerably in recent years and even more dramatically since the National Council for Peace and Order took power. Now is the time to put an end to this practice once and for all.

 

Get more from The Thaiger

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS
👋 Have your say on our Thailand forum
🔔 Subscribe to our daily newsletter
📺 Subscribe / Join for daily shows
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🐦 FOLLOW us on Twitter
📷 FOLLOW us on Instagram

image

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Media5 hours ago

No sex please, we’re Thai

Events6 hours ago

An aquatic meal with Olga Belka – taking art to new depths

Transport9 hours ago

Hua Lamphong (Bangkok Train Station) – History and future | VIDEO

Sponsored3 days ago

CBRE recommends top 5 luxury condominiums in Phuket with fantastic locations

imageimage
Thailand10 hours ago

Bug-eating challenge with Natty, feat. Mark Abbott | VIDEO

Coronavirus (Covid-19)11 hours ago

UPDATE: Israel bans ALL foreign entry over Omicron

Thailand13 hours ago

New variant could dampen Thailand’s reopening enthusiasm

image
Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Coronavirus (Covid-19)14 hours ago

UPDATE: Latest news on Omicron – what we know

Tourism1 day ago

Songkhla prepares for tourism across the Southern land border

Thailand1 day ago

French expat being denied re-entry to Thailand over repeated criticism of the Thai monarchy

Coronavirus (Covid-19)1 day ago

COVID-19 SATURDAY: 6,073 infections, 32 deaths, provincial data

Coronavirus (Covid-19)1 day ago

Omicron causing concern, Thai authorities ban travellers from 8 countries

Coronavirus (Covid-19)1 day ago

Thailand’s nightlife venues and bars told to keep closed until January 16

Protests1 day ago

Amnesty International under investigation for defending activists

Coronavirus (Covid-19)2 days ago

New Covid-19 strain named “Omicron” and a variant of concern

Thailand2 days ago

Entertainment venues will not open before January 16

Thailand3 months ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism9 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism9 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism9 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand10 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand10 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand10 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand11 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand11 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand11 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand11 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand11 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Trending