Thai vets are widely sterilized as tourists are terrorizing hungry monkeys in the city

Thai vets are widely sterilized as tourists are terrorizing hungry monkeys in the city

LOBURI, Thailand Thailand has begun to sterilize hundreds of monkeys in a city known for its macaque population, as the coronavirus epidemic is leaving hungry, aggressive, and wrestling food out of the nomadic species.

The Lopburi province and its 2,000 monkeys have long attracted tourists from around the world, who usually feed them and take selfies with them.

Since Thailand closed its borders on April 4 to control coronavirus infection, the monkeys are not exactly embracing their new normal lives.

Government veterinarian Supakarn Kevachot said, "They are used to feed tourists and the city doesn't give them any space."

"As tourists are leaving, they have become more aggressive and are fighting humans to survive for food," she told Reuters.

"They're attacking buildings and forcing locals to flee their homes."

Unlike wild monkeys, city monkeys do not have to hunt for food, giving them more time and energy to breed and cause trouble.

To control its rapidly growing population, officials this week put large cages around the city with large fruits, hoping to attract 300 monkeys for sterilization.

From the cages, the monkeys are moved to an operating table, where they are lured, shaved, and tattooed under their arms with a unique reference number.

The veins undergo a vasectomy or tubal ligation operation and they lie on their backs under a green cloth.

There comes a night to recover before the sleeping monkeys return to their tribe.

The government aims to sterilize 500 Macas in the next two months.

Supakarna said sterilization poses no threat to the monkey population and is only intended to reduce the rate of urban development.

This is not happening only in urban areas, he said.

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