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Monkey man says he’s there to stay

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Monkey man says he’s there to stay | Thaiger

KAMALA: A man living alone in a tree high up in the Kamala Hills has drawn so much interest that the local tambon president has had to order improvements to the path leading to his jungle hideaway, lest his many curious visitors continue injuring themselves in their efforts to reach him. News of the modern-day Tarzan hit the headlines on September 21, when a group of rubber tappers working in a remote part of Ban Bangwan Village 1 reported him to the Kamala Tambon Adminisgtration Organization (OrBorTor). They feared that the man would either run amok and attack them or get hungry and steal their food. The man has been identified as 37-year-old former construction worker Witthaya “Bao” Nuansri, whose given name means “science of the famed cream”. K. Witthaya told a reporter that he took to his arboreal lifestyle some two months before his discovery, after his adulterous wife left him, taking the couple’s only child with her, and returned to their home village in Ranong. Her departure caused K. Witthaya so much distress that his friends at work were unable to console him. Finally, he headed for the hills, where he has somehow managed to survive on wild fruit. When news of a “monkey man” appeared in the Thai press, however, so many people tried to scale the path leading to K. Witthaya’s hangout that it soon became treacherously muddy; many would-be visitors lost their footing, rolled down the hillside and were injured. Kamala OrBorTor President Jaran Sararak has been much criticized in recent months for the OrBorTor’s delay in cleaning up after the tsunami. But when word of K. Wit-thaya reached him, the reaction was swift: he ordered workers to cut steps into the hillside path in order to cut down on the injury rate. He also told the workers to rig up a system of ropes so that K. Witthaya could hoist food brought to him by visitors up into his tree. K. Jaran justified the work as a tourism promotion measure. For his part, K. Witthaya said he had no plans to harm anybody, and wanted to thank the many people who had brought him food. “I plan to stay in this tree for a long time,” he said.

 

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

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