New Phuket project sees 100 sterilised monkeys released into forest

Sterilised monkeys released back into forest, photo by The Phuket Express.

Phuket wildlife officials sterilised around 100 monkeys and released them back to their natural habitat in the forest, to control the birth rate of monkeys and address problems that monkeys have caused locals and tourists.

The monkey sterilisation project aims to reduce the number of monkeys in Phuket, as well as prevent the spread of diseases that can be transmitted from monkeys to humans. The project began on April 16 and will run until May 16.

The head of the Khao Phra Taeo Natural and Wildlife Center in Thalang, Pongchart Chueahom, told The Phuket Express that on Monday the first group of around 100 sterilised monkeys was released back to their home on Toh Sae Hill in Rassada.

Phuket’s monkey problems are urgent, and need to be addressed quickly, said Pongchart. Reports in Thai media have highlighted incidents of monkeys attacking and injuring tourists at Toh Sae Hill, as well as Rang Hill in Phuket Town.

The sterilisation project aims to sterilise around 500 monkeys from these locations, as well as monkeys from Monkey Viewpoint in Koh Sirey.

Monkeys invading human spaces is a continuous problem in Phuket.

In November last year, it was reported that two rowdy monkeys on an island off Phuket were moved to the far side of the island after bothering residents. The two macaques had been disturbing locals and causing trouble, Pongchart said. The macaques were to undergo health checks by wildlife experts and be tested for diseases.

In September last year, monkeys barged into the grounds of a new resort in Chalong and tried to get into guests’ rooms. Wildlife officers inspected the resort to spell out a few rules for guests. Pongchat said guests “must absolutely not give the monkeys any food.”

Phuket isn’t the only hotspot in Thailand where monkeys have made bold appearances. In May last year, a couple arrived at a luxury resort in Krabi to find a group of monkeys in the hot tub.

Phuket NewsThailand News

Tara Abhasakun

A Thai-American dual citizen, Tara has reported news and spoken on a number of human rights and cultural news issues in Thailand. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history from The College of Wooster. She interned at Southeast Asia Globe, and has written for a number of outlets. Tara reports on a range of Thailand news issues.

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