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Lop Buri’s macaques relocation

Lop Buri’s macaques relocation

As a new round of macaque captures begins, Lop Buri province is planning to establish a new tourist attraction called “Muang Pipob Vanorn” (or macaque city) to help reorganize and clean up the central district.

Mayor Chamroen Slacheep stated that Lop Buri has faced a significant increase in the macaque population over the past 7-8 years. This overpopulation has forced the macaques out of their natural habitats to forage for food near human dwellings, resulting in their occupation of buildings all over town. The new monkey habitat project is a collaboration between the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation and Lop Buri province.

The goals of the project are to capture and relocate the monkeys to a better habitat, clean up Lop Buri town center to revive tourism and the local economy, and enable monkeys and people to live in harmony. Chamroen also noted that macaques are a symbol of Lop Buri and should be protected, similar to other local attractions.

Lop Buri’s macaques relocation
Lop Buri’s macaques relocation

26.5 Million Baht Budget

With a budget of 26.5 million baht (about USD 722,000), the plan is to add about 6,400 square meters to the existing 28,000-square-meter enclosure in the Pho Kao Ton monkey park, which will be able to accommodate up to 4,000 monkeys.

Once the budget is approved, the project is expected to take about a year to complete. Meanwhile, authorities are focusing on capturing about 1,000 macaque alphas and troublemakers. Lop Buri municipality has prepared enough food to feed them for up to three months. Additionally, visitors are welcome to bring fruit and other food to feed the monkeys at the park.

The cost of feeding one monkey is between 15 and 20 baht per day, and there are about 2,000 of them. The Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation will provide medical necessities.

Revitalizing “Muang Pipob Vanorn” and the Local Economy

According to Mayor Chamroen, the Pho Kao Ton monkey enclosure will eventually become an educational center where people can learn about macaques.

“After the monkeys are captured and relocated, there will be a big clean-up in Lop Buri to help bring tourism back,” he added.

Padej Laithong, director of the Wildlife Conservation Office, mentioned that a framework is in place for the future of Lop Buri macaques. Local residents are also being consulted on the project to relocate the monkeys to Kao Som Phot sanctuary.

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