Lopburi shopkeepers forced to abandon their premises due to monkey invasion

Lopburi, the city of monkeys

Monkeys on a street in Lopburi. Photo: Smooto.

Traders in Thailand’s Lopburi province have been forced to move their businesses elsewhere as wild monkeys continue to plague the city, scaring customers and bringing the local economy to its knees.

Dozens of stores in the city’s Manora market have already closed since the pandemic, while more traders now plan to relocate due to the macaque invasion.

A handbag store owner confessed that he is “seriously thinking of moving to an area that is safer for customers and also for me. The monkeys damage my customers’ cars, so after buying my products, they also have to fix their car.”

Tourists visiting Lopburi are forced to remain on high alert while wandering around the stores, as wild animals are always ready to steal belongings and attack for food. Sunglasses, pendants and plastic bags apparently filled with food are some of the favorite targets of these macaques.

Besides the danger of being mugged, there are many other things they are threatened by, for example because the monkeys also litter the sidewalks, leaving dirt and droppings and even enter stores that have been closed.

Tourists used to feed the monkeys soft drinks and sugary drinks, which caused them to have more energy and increased their population, something Thailand had been fighting against before the pandemic began two years ago. Officials had even begun sterilizing large numbers of primates.

There are believed to be more than 10,000 monkeys living in the Lopburi center, but only 900 of them have been sterilized as of 2020. The creatures even divide into rival gangs and regularly have big fights in the middle of the road.

-Thailand News (TN)

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