No more monkey business! Phuket monkeys lose tourists from monkeypox scare

Monkey viewpoint, photo by The Phuket Express.

Phuket’s monkeys are missing out on their usual feedings from tourists at Koh Siray island’s monkey viewpoint. At the viewpoint, tourists usually buy fruit from vendors to feed to the roughly 200 monkeys there. But following Phuket’s recent monkeypox scare, after a Nigerian man was found to have the virus, fewer tourists are coming to feed their furry friends.

Local fruit vendors say there were more people buying fruit for the monkeys during Covid-19 restrictions than there are now. Some tourists still show up to feed the monkeys, but only from a distance. One fruit buyer told The Phuket Express…

“We throw fruits to monkeys. We stay far from them and don’t touch them. After that, we wash our hands.”

Luckily, some fruit sellers have been giving leftover fruit to the monkeys, so that they don’t starve. Even though humans, and not monkeys, have been spreading monkeypox, people are on guard about going near monkeys right now.

This news comes after a Nigerian man in Phuket was found to have monkeypox last week. When officials went to his condo to take him to a hospital, he fled to Cambodia, where he was arrested. Authorities have now managed to track down 27 people who came into contact with the man, who all tested negative for the virus.

SOURCE: The Phuket Express

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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.