“Fight club!” declares The Globe’s Bangkok News + Lifestyle network. As per their shocking footage, “Monkeys in Lopburi are at war with each other again.”
At war, you say? Surely that’s not so. But it is. According to The Globe, “A shortage of food offerings from tourists is said to be the reason the crab-eating macaques have been seen brawling in recent times.”
The man who filmed the brawl, Pong Muangthong, tells local Thai Rath that “As a result of this incident, several monkeys were injured. There was blood on the road surface.”
Sounds like war. First, COVID shuts down the world’s tourism. Now, we’re experiencing The Monkey Wars as a result. That’s not sarcasm, either – as the situation is proving hellish for locals. Sound on for the unbelievable, visceral racket these hordes of primates create:
Their cries of war are near-deafening from the filming party’s far-away vantage point. Up close, it has to be ear-splitting. Said filming party Muangthong tells NewsHub that “motorists tried honking their horns to disperse the monkeys… But that only made them angrier.”
In Photos: War of the Monkeys Shuts Down Thailand Thoroughfare
According to NewsHub’s breakdown, “Lopburi province and its 2000 monkeys have long been a draw for tourists from around the world, who typically feed them and pose with them for selfies.”
As stated, however, Thailand closed its borders last April to control the spread of COVID-19. And when they did, the monkeys could not adapt to this new lifestyle.
Just as with out human wars, Muangthong says that once the the losing monkey gang’s leader retreated, “the situation calmed down.”
It’s been an issue for Thailand for the entirety of the COVID-19 Pandemic. Similar fights have been captured, going viral over the past year-and-a-half. The most notable came right as things changed drastically for the monkeys (and us humans) last March. The footage “sparked concerns the animals might be starving with no tourists in the area – but locals insisted the monkeys wouldn’t go hungry,” NewsHub clarifies.
But the situation would continue to escalate – and is far from over. The prolonging of border closings has the monkeys stirring into frenzies on almost a daily basis now, leaving them “desperate and aggressive.”
As they wrestle each other, Thailand’s residents are caught in the middle. Local trades continue to report on terrified pedestrians being attacked by the warring monkeys over food.
“With the tourists gone, they’ve been more aggressive, fighting humans for food to survive,” the trade cites of government vet Supakarn Kaewchot.
A similar fight captured on video in March last year, when the COVID-19 pandemic tightened its grip on the world, sparked concerns the animals might be starving with no tourists in the area – but locals insisted the monkeys wouldn’t go hungry.
However, the situation escalated as prolonged closed borders left the monkeys desperate and aggressive, wrestling food from terrified residents. In June 2020, local wildlife officials began sterilising the monkeys to try and control their numbers.
“With the tourists gone, they’ve been more aggressive, fighting humans for food to survive,” government vet Supakarn Kaewchot told Reuters last year. “They’re invading buildings and forcing locals to flee their homes.”
As a result, Thailand wildlife officials began sterilizing the monkeys in June of 2020 in an effort to control their breeding. Their numbers, however, have not decreased.