Macaques screened for monkeypox during neutering

Macaques screened for monkeypox during neutering

A vet sterilises a macaque, which was also tested for monkeypox, during the population control operation in Hua Hin district of Prachuap Khiri Khan province. (Photo: Chaiwat Satyaem)
A vet sterilises a macaque, which was also tested for monkeypox, during the population control operation in Hua Hin district of Prachuap Khiri Khan province. (Photo: Chaiwat Satyaem)

PRACHUAP KHIRI KHAN: Wild macaques are being tested for monkeypox during a regular neutering campaign to control the population in this lower central province, an official said.

Wanchai Singto, director of the Phetchaburi-based Protected Areas Regional Office 3, said the operation started on June 1 with the target to catch about 600 macaques living on Khao Ta Kiap and Khao Hin Lek Fai mountains.

So far about 200 macaques had been caught and examined. Most of them were found to have already been sterilised, and all tested negative for monkeypox.

Macaques which had not been neutered would be sterilised by veterinarians from the National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department.

Mr Wichai was certain all the monkeys in Hua Hin, Prachuap Khiri Khan, were free of monkeypox. He said there was concern they could be infected through contact with tourists.

The neutering operation would continue until the target was met, he said.

Mr Wichai said the growth of the monkey population in Prachuap Khiri Khan had been slow recently due to the success of the ongoing sterilisation campaign, launched under a memorandum of understanding between Protected Areas Regional Office 3 and Hua Hin Municipality.

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