Wildlife officials in Thailand relocated a troop of monkeys from a village on the outskirts of Bangkok after residents complained that the animals were breaking into homes rummaging stuff and stealing food.

Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation director general Nipol Chotiban said that the monkeys were moved to Phan Thai Norasing Wildlife Sanctuary in Samut Songkhram province from Bang Khunthian district, where about 300 long-tailed macaques live.

The monkeys are being threatened by coastal erosion and urban expansion. The decreasing forest area is being attributed as to why the monkeys scavenge for and steal food from people's home.

Wildlife officials caught 80 monkeys after one month of trying to lure them into cages with food inside that served as bait.

Officials said that another reason why the monkeys need to be relocated is that they pose threats of attack to residents. The monkeys do not just ransack homes for food. They also attacked children and the elderly albeit rarely.

The crab-eating monkeys are likewise at risk of being hit by cars as they look for food as well as being attacked when they approach locals begging for food.

Two public hearing were held in August and last week to come up with the solution to the problem and residents agreed that the best way to get rid of the animals is to have them relocated.

Chotiban's department has been working on controlling the growth of the monkeys' population after their numbers has risen sharply in recent years.

Birth control was first tested but it did not only prove to be expensive. It also changed the behavior of the animals.

Veterinarians also tried cutting the sex organ of the leader male monkey to curb overpopulation but the animal's behavior became female-like after the procedure and a new male becomes the leader of the herd.

The captured monkeys will undergo health examination at the Phan Thai Norasing wildlife to check if they have any diseases before they will be divided into two groups.

Some of the monkeys will be headed to the Khao Son wildlife breeding center in Ratchaburi province and the others will be brought to Kon Khun Kala island in Bang Khun Thian district.

Narong Therdsong, a local resident, said that people look forward to being able to grow vegetables and hang out washing without being pestered by the monkeys.

Photo: Rushen | Flickr 

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