A video of dozens of monkeys fighting over a box full of breads in the Lopburi province of Thailand has surfaced. The incident was captured when a plastic box was left unattended on the street which caught the attention of the primates.
The monkeys can be seen shoving each other out of the way to grab slices of the bread. These monkeys have been facing a severe crisis of food since the Covid-19 pandemic affected tourism in the area. Once a popular tourist destination, the region is now bereft of visitors who would normally feed the monkeys.
“They're so used to having tourists feed them and the city provides no space for them to fend for themselves,” Supakarn Kaewchot, a government veterinarian was quoted by Daily Mail.
“With the tourists gone, they've been more aggressive, fighting humans for food to survive. They're invading buildings and forcing locals to flee their homes,” Kaewchot added.
The animals are now surviving on minimal snacks offered by some concerned locals. Earlier, the local administration had put a ban on feeding sugary drinks to the monkeys as it was driving them into a breeding frenzy which led to a steep rise in their population. An estimated 7,000 monkeys live in Lopburi among the 70,000 residents of the city.
The rising population of monkeys, which doubled in three years, was creating too much trouble for the people, almost making some places inhabitable for the humans. To bring things in order, the authorities had to undertake a mass castrations exercise.
“We had to have monkeys neutered because the residents said the more wild monkey population means the more problems and conflicts could happen between them,” Thung Tale Wildlife Conservation officer Suwat Suksiri was quoted as saying.
The mass sterilization projects were started in summer as the officials were finding it difficult to cope up with the increasing challenge posed by the monkeys. Only last month, a team of wildlife conservationists gathered the monkeys and baited them into a cage before knocking them unconscious using tranquilisers.