One of Lopburi‘s longest established communities is now facing a crackdown after its energetic love-making finally pushed other townsfolk too far.
The city’s 2,500 monkeys are a familiar and accepted sight in the provincial capital, which is 150 kilometres north of Bangkok.
The ‘crab-eating macaques’ congregate at Lopburi’s markets and its famous Khmer temple and shrine, where they pick up free snacks, especially during the Monkey Festival in November.
But the capacity of male macaques to mate 10 times a day is now creating problems for other residents, as the mushrooming monkey population turns to crime to feed itself.
With escalating incidents of macaques snatching bags and breaking into homes, the authorities have decided to act.
‘There is not enough food or homes for monkeys,’ veterinarian Juthamas Sumanam told Reuters. ‘If their numbers increase, people will be in trouble as well as the monkeys.’
A team of vets are now using bags of sweets to capture male monkeys for sterilisation. The programme aims to operate on at least half of them.
But the iniative has alarmed some of the city’s residents.
‘The main attraction in Lopburi is monkeys,’ temple worker Saksit Saepoo told Reuters.