Thailand has set up a particular police unit armed with slingshots to deal with aggressive monkeys attacking locals in Lopburi province.

A proactive police unit has been established in Lopburi province to apprehend aggressive monkeys, a source of concern for the province’s residents. Equipped with slingshots, the unit is taking decisive action against the macaques. Meanwhile, Wildlife Conservation Department officers are employing cages to safely capture the animals.

Lopburi provincial police chief Major General Apirak Wetkanchana has spearheaded the creation of a macaque control unit, a move that has been met with approval. The unit’s use of slingshots as a deterrent against the aggressive monkeys has yielded positive results, instilling hope among the locals.

Earlier, police officers used to shoo away monkeys using sedatives. But the drugs take at least five minutes to work on the animals. By then, the monkeys had time to escape to other places, including climbing onto the roofs of buildings, which could pose a danger to people.

The creation of the anti-monkey unit came after the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment had to pay compensation to people attacked by macaques amid a spate of incidents in Lopburi, including at least three severe cases in one month.

In addition to the police unit, more than 10 Wildlife Authority officers have been deployed to tackle the monkeys in an area where macaques have been snatching items from passers-by. Officials set up cages around the neighbourhood and caught nine monkeys on the first day and seven on the second day.

All 18 monkeys that were captured have been taken to the Saraburi Wildlife Clinic for thorough health checks,’ said Wildlife Conservation Director Sutthipong Kemtubtim. The macaques will then be relocated to a suitable environment for two months before being reintroduced to Lopburi, demonstrating the care and consideration given to these animals.

The Department of Natural Resources, Wildlife and Plant Conservation is looking for a solution to the monkey problem, such as keeping the macaques in a zoo. But for now, department officials continue to trap the monkeys using cages.

Monkeys have long been a concern for Lopburi residents, with a recent study estimating that 5,709 individuals were in the province’s wild in 2023. The macaques are protected under the Wildlife Conservation and Protection Act.

A policeman keeps an eye out for aggressive macaques causing trouble for locals and tourists, keeping a slingshot at the ready to use against the monkeys

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