Missing wild monkeys found in horrific circumstances!
We reported a few days ago (July 9th on our Facebook page) that hundreds of monkeys were taken illegally off the streets of Lopburi city, in central Thailand. Although government officials denied that this was the case at first, we slowly received intelligence that that indeed 50-60 long-tailed macaques were taken out of the city of Lopburi and were taken to a government wildlife rescue center of the Department of National Parks in Nakorn Nayok province. We still have not received any photographs of these facilities nor have we been given permission to see the monkeys there yet, but just now we received photographs of another lot of monkeys being kept elsewhere in horrific circumstances. (published hereunder)
Late last week we heard from officials in Lopburi city that absolutely zero monkeys were taken, but when we showed them photos of Lopburi municipality officers catching monkeys and pushing them in to cramped cages they admitted a day later that “only about 20 monkeys” were taken away. When we showed them more photos from informants they admitted that “about 70 monkeys” were rounded up. Right now we have been able to locate almost 150 monkeys, but we are still chasing about 200-250 more that have disappeared, it seems that many are hidden in a private house of an official in Amphoe BanMee, near Lopburi…
On the pictures published on this page you will see the first evidence of serious animal welfare issues; small and overcrowded cages, sick and injured monkeys with no medical care, the lack of drinking water and infected wounds, cut-off ears and other infected wounds from the catching of the wild monkeys.
WFFT feels that the human-monkey conflict in Lopburi city needs to be solved, but agrees with the local community in Lopburi and animal welfare activists that the animals need to be moved to a natural environment with proper medical care, safety and space. There is a budget approved of 30,000,000 Baht (US$ 1,000,000.-) for a pending project to solve the human-monkey conflict, but it seems now that the Lopburi municipality has taken the law into their own hands without asking permission from the responsible authorities, nor the approval of the citizen of Lopburi!
The monkey-human conflict in Lopburi is not unique worldwide or in Thailand, in several places in Asia this problem has been solved by moving monkeys to better suitable places and/or a spey/neuter program. Lopburi is not and cannot be an exception from this, with proper talks and planning this can be done in a humane and decent way. It has to stop now!
WFFT will ask urgently by official letter an explanation form the authorities and ask police and relevant agencies to take legal steps against the municipality of Lopburi;
1. Who authorised and operated this capture of protected wild animals?
2. Where are all monkeys taken? i.e. without harming the animals. Amount of monkeys taken away exactly?
3. What is the long-term solution to this problem? i.e. spaying of population left at Lopburi, care and new location of the monkeys moved away?
4. Why were the relevant authorities DNP (Department of National Parks) not involved at all with the initial project, capture and housing?
We will ask the DNP to take legal action against the Lopburi municipality as macaques are protected species under wildlife laws of Thailand and capture, possession and movement of this species is illegal under the Thai wildlife preservation act.
(2.ผู้ดำเนินการได้มีการขออนุญาตหรือประสานไปยังท่านอธิบดีกรมอุทยานแห่งชาติ สัตว์ป่าและพันธุ์พืชมั้ย เพราะลิงแสมเป็นสัตว์ป่าคุ้มครอง ตาม พ.ร.บ คุ้มครองสัตว์ป่า ปี 2535
( 3.ลิงที่ดักจับได้แล้ว นำไปไว้ที่ไหนบ้าง จำนวนกี่ตัว สามารถตรวจสอบได้หรือไม่ สถานที่รองรับเป็นอย่างไร ทั้งที่ยังไม่มีการสร้างแต่อย่างใด
(4.จะมีแผนมาตรการในการเลี้ยงดูลิงที่อยู่ในกรงอย่างไร ต้องนึกถึงสวัสดิภาพ และจะขังระยะสั้น หรือระยะยาว