New plan to solve monkey infestation

New plan to solve monkey infestation

Natural Resources and Environment Minister Phatcharavat Wongsuwan is looking to open a macaque control centre in Lop Buri to sterilise the monkeys and transfer them to other areas in a bid to solve problems they cause in the town.

Pol Gen Phatcharavat said after Monday's cabinet meeting that there is a need to establish a macaque control centre as there are currently more than 1,000 of them running wild in downtown Lop Buri. He added that the initiative will be routinely monitored to gauge its effectiveness.

As for the plan to relocate the macaques to other provinces, the deputy prime minister said there must first be discussions with the authorities to facilitate the move.

The director-general of the Department of National Parks, Wildlife, and Plant Conservation (DNP), Atthapol Charoenchansa, confirmed that Pol Gen Phatcharavat had ordered the establishment of a macaque control centre.

Mr Atthapol also denied that locals near Khao Yai National Park oppose a government plan to send macaques to a wildlife rescue centre of the national park in Nakhon Nayok, saying the authorities have spoken with local people, and they have agreed to the plan.

The facility has a huge enclosure to accommodate the macaques. They will not be allowed to live in the wild, he said. The macaques that are being transferred to Khao Yai are now in Lop Buri's Khao Som Phot Wildlife Sanctuary, he said.

Meanwhile, a team of DNP officers started on a second round of catching aggressive macaques causing trouble for locals in Lop Buri on Monday.

Last week, the team caught 23 during a three-day round-up, which was well short of its target of 50.

On Monday, the team adopted a new strategy. Instead of wearing their ranger uniforms, they wore casual attire to trick the monkeys. The second round-up attempt will also last three days, ending later today.

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