Humans destroyed their forest so when no one is looking monkeys enter their homes & steal stuff.
Long-tailed macaques run off with food stolen from locals in Khlong Charoen Wai village, Chachoengsao province. (AFP photo)
Village under siege from marauding monkeys
A macaque holds a box of soymilk stolen from a house in Khlong Charoen Wai village. (AFP photo)
CHACHOENGSAO - In one village homes are raided, property is pinched and locals are attacked by dastardly gangs operating beyond the law - but the perpetrators are monkeys, not men.
"They creep into my house when they see me sleeping, they go into the kitchen and take cooking oil, sugar and even the medicines that I hide in a cabinet,'' said Chaluay Khamkajit, after years battling with pesky primates who are thought to have been drawn into Khlong Charoen Wai village by habitat loss.
"They took my snacks, I can buy more, but the medicines are important to me,'' the 72-year-old said, as she and her husband demonstrated a variety of monkey deterrents, including a homemade lock for the fridge and the more direct deterrent of a sling-shot.
Around 150 households in this shrimp farming community in Chachoengsao's Bang Prakong district have suffered raids by these "sea monkeys'' - long-tailed macaques - for about a decade.
The increasing number of shrimp farms, coupled with the associated deforestation and habitat loss, is believed to be behind the surge in the monkeys' depredations.
"They could find food easily in the past but when there is less forest, they have to find food in people's houses,'' said village headman Chatree Kaencharoen, expressing frustration at some villagers who give food to the incorrigible creatures.
"Sometimes, a few hundred monkeys come at once - especially at dawn and dusk when it is cooler. They know it is time to be fed,'' he said.
Conservation group WWF said people have encroached on the monkeys' habitat - not the other way around.
"People have moved closer to nature, that is why there is an increased chance of interaction between human and animals,'' WWF Thailand director Petch Manopawitr told AFP.
"Macaques can adjust their behaviour quite well - they learn in similar ways to humans - and when they know that they can find food in a village, they come.''
The spread of villages into formerly dense forest has caused other clashes between people and beasts in the country.
"Wild pigs eat farm plants, but the villagers can also shoot the pigs and eat them,'' said Mr Petch. Raiding elephants and tigers have posed a less edible source of village disruption. And WWF says the problem is accelerating.
In a recent report, the conservation group said demand for farmland could strip the Greater Mekong subregion - Thailand, Cambodia, Myanmar, Laos and Vietnam - of a third of its remaining forest cover over the next two decades without swift government action.
Between 1973 - the first point of available data - and 2009, Thailand lost some 43% of its natural woodland, the WWF said, although it praised the country for its network of national parks.
Khlong Charoen Wai's monkeys spend their days hanging out on the narrow bamboo bridges that meander across the coastal swampland at the edge of the village.
Mothers lounge with babies slung across their chests, while others leap between nearby mangrove trees.
They tend to flee when approached. But when nobody seems to be looking, they climb onto roofs, leaving trails of muddy footprints as they stalk into homes through any openings they can find.
Residents have been forced to seal their houses with nets, lock their windows despite the tropical heat, and secure their property the best they can.
"They pushed over a 21-inch television, which fell and smashed. They even stole a rice cooker, managed to open it and scooped out the rice to eat,'' said Mr Chatree.
Local authorities tried to curb the monkey raids - even attempting to sterilise the intruders. But that effort was on too small a scale according to deputy village head Tawin Songcharoen.
"We cannot stop them,'' he told AFP.
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accelerate: to happen or make something happen at a faster rate - เร่ง, เร่งความเร็ว, เพิ่มความเร็ว
adjust: to get used to a new situation by changing your ideas or the way you do things - ปรับตัว
associated with: connected with in some way - ที่เชื่อมโยงกัน
at once: at one time -
bamboo: a tree that grows in thick bunches of long green poles - ต้นไผ่, ไม้ไผ่
battle: to try very hard to achieve something difficult or to deal with something unpleasant or dangerous - ต่อสู้, ดิ้นรนต่อสู้, มุ่งมั่นฝ่าฟัน
beast: an animal, especially a large or wild one - สัตว์ใหญ่ สัตว์ป่า
behaviour: the way that someone acts or behaves - พฤติกรรม, การกระทำตัว
behind: the cause of - A bad upbringing is behind his becoming a criminal as an adult.
cabinet: a piece of furniture with doors, drawers and/or shelves, that is used for storing or showing things - ชั้นหรือตู้วางของ
clash: a brief fight between two or more people - การปะทะกันสองฝ่าย
coastal: of an area of land beside the sea - แนวชายฝั่งทะเล
community: the people living in one particular area - ชุมชน
conservation: the protection of plants and animals, natural areas, and interesting and important structures and buildings, especially from the damaging effects of human activity - การอนุรักษ์ธรรมชาติ, การป้องกันความสูญเสีย, การสงวนไว้
coupled with: together with - ผนวกับ
creature: anything that lives except plants - สิ่งมีชีวิต (คน, สัตว์)
creep: to move or develop very slowly - เคลื่อนที่อย่างช้าๆ
dastardly: very cruel or evil -
dawn: the beginning of the day, when it begins to get light - รุ่งอรุณ, เช้าตรู่
decade: a period of ten years - ทศวรรษ, ระยะเวลา 10 ปี
deforestation: the act of cutting down or burning the trees in an area - การตัดไม้ทำลายป่า
demand could strip: demand for something could be greater than available supply -
demonstrate: to show something and explain how it works - สาธิต
dense: very thick - แน่น,หนาแน่น,หนาทึบ
depredation: damage or harm that is done to something - การปล้นสะดม,การโจรกรรม,การทำลาย
deterrent: something that makes people decide not to do something by making them realize that something unpleasant could happen to them - ซึ่งขัดขวาง, ซึ่งยับยั้ง
direct: going straight to a place (not "going to other places first" which is "indirect") - ตรงไป, ไม่เบี่ยงเบน
disruption: a situation in which something cannot continue because of a problem - การขัดขวาง, การหยุดชะงัก
draw into: make someone come into a place -
dusk: the time before night when it is not yet dark - เวลาเย็นก่อนค่ำ
edge: the outside limit of an object, a surface or an area; the part furthest from the centre - ริม, ขอบ
edible: fit or suitable to be eaten; not poisonous - ซึ่งกินได้
encroached: to gradually cover more and more of an area of land - บุกรุก, ล่วงล้ำ
express: to tell someone about a feeling, opinion, or aim by speaking or writing about it - แสดงออก (ทางความคิดหรือความรู้สึก) โดยใช้คำพูดหรือการเขียน, พูดออกมา
flee: to leave a place or person quickly because you are afraid of possible danger - หนี อพยพ
forest reserve: a forest area that is set aside for animals, trees and plants - ป่าสงวน
formerly: in earlier times - ก่อนหน้านี้
fridge: a piece of kitchen equipment which uses electricity to preserve food at a cold temperature - ตู้เย็น
frustration: an annoyed or discouraged feeling because you cannot do or have what you want - ความผิดหวัง, ความไม่พอใจ
gang: a group of criminals who work together; a group of young people who spend time together causing trouble - แก๊ง, กลุ่มโจร
habitat: the type of place that a particular animal usually lives in or a particular plant usually grows in - ถิ่นที่อยู่ของพืชหรือสัตว์
hang out: to spend a lot of time at a place or with someone - ใช้เวลามาก สังสรรค์ คุยกัน เช่น กับเพื่อนๆ
headman: village headman, the leader of a village - ผู้ใหญ่บ้าน
household: a group of people, often a family, who live together - ครัวเรือน
incorrigible: someone who will not change their bad behaviour easily - คุณซึ่งไม่สามารถแก้ไขได้, ซึ่งไม่สามารถปรับปรุงได้, แก้ไขไม่ได้, ไม่เปลี่ยนแปลงได้ง่าย. บุคคลที่แก้ไขไม่ได้.
interaction: communicating with somebody, especially while you work, play or spend time with them - การสื่อสารระหว่างกัน, การมีปฏิสัมพันธ์
leap: a large jump; a major achievement that has been done before - การกระโดด
locals: people who live in a particular place - ชาวบ้าน
lock: used to close a door, drawer or other place so that other people cannot enter - กุญแจ
mangrove: a tropical tree that grows beside water and has roots that begin above the ground - ต้นไม้จำพวกโกงกาง
marauding: when soldiers go from place to place to find people to attack or things to steal or destroy; pillaging and ransacking - ปล้น
meander: wander, do not move or walk straight to goal or destination -
narrow: not wide; having a small distance from one side to the other, especially in comparison with the length - แคบ
national park: a park run by the government of a country - สวนสาธารณะแห่งชาติ, อุทยานแห่งชาติ
nature: the physical world including all living things as well as the land and the seas - ธรรมชาติ
network: a large system of connected parts, organisations, people, etc. - เครือข่าย
perpetrator: someone who has committed a crime, or a violent or harmful act - ผู้ก่อการ
pesky: annoying or causing trouble - น่ารำคาญ
pinch: steal -
praise: to express strong approval or admiration - ยกย่อง, ชื่นชม
primates: members of the most developed and intelligent group of mammals, including humans, monkeys and apes - สัตว์เลี้ยงลูกด้วยนม
property: things, especially valuable things, that are owned by someone - ทรัพย์สมบัติ, ทรัพย์สิน
raid: a short surprise attack on an enemy - การจู่โจม,การโจมตี
resident: a person who lives in a particular area - ผู้อาศัยในบริเวณ
seal: to close a container tightly or fill a crack, etc, especially so that air, liquid, etc. cannot get in or out - ปิด
secure: to make an area or building safe - รักษาความปลอดภัย
siege: to surround (go around all sides of) a building or place in order to protest about something or to force the people on the inside out - เข้าห้อมล้อม เข้ายึด
sling-shot: a weapon made of a rubber band on a stick used to shoot things like rocks - สลิงชอท, หนังสติ๊ก,การแซงหน้าอย่างฉับพลันของรถคันหลัง
snack: a small meal or amount of food, usually eaten in a hurry - อาหารว่าง, อาหารเบาๆ
source: the place or person or something comes from or starts at, or the cause of something - ต้นกำเนิด, แหล่งกำเนิด
spread: gradually affecting or covering a larger area - การแพร่กระจาย
suffer: to be badly affected by a very difficult or unpleasant situation - ประสบความลำบาก
surge: a sudden increase in something - การเพิ่มขึ้นอย่างรวดเร็ว
swamp: an area of land covered by water where trees and plants grow - หนองน้ำ
swift: happening quickly - อย่างรวดเร็ว โดยด่วน
tail: the long thing with bone in it on the back of animals - หาง (สัตว์)
tend: to be likely to behave in a particular way or have a particular characteristic - มักจะ
trail: long line or series of marks that is left by somebody/something - ร่องรอยที่ทิ้งไว้ให้ตามได้
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