Monkey attacks on tourists spark official action

PHUKET: Park officials concerned about the changing behavior of macaque monkeys on Monkey Beach have erected signs urging tourists not to feed the wild animals.

“When the monkeys see a tour boat stop, they gather and move toward the tourists. If the tourists don’t have any food, the monkeys get agitated, sometimes biting or scratching them,” explained Sarayuth Tanthien, chief of the Hat Noppharat Thara – Mu Ko Phi Phi National Park. “We are concerned. Not only is it unsafe for the tourists, but the monkeys are getting use to being fed, which affects their natural ability to find food for themselves.”

The signs on the beach are in Thai, English and Chinese.

Park officials have also urged tour operators to educate and inform tourists before arriving on the beach.

“If we stop feeding them, sooner or later they will return to their natural behavior. Not feeding them is in the best interest of the monkeys, the ecosystem and the tourists themselves,” Mr Sarayuth said.

— Kritsada Mueanhawong

Phuket News

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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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