For many Western tourists to Thailand, for whom the only chance back home of seeing a real life monkey is by visiting the zoo, the experience of being surrounded by a free-running horde of wild monkeys is quite a novelty.
But in a number of provinces around Thailand, bands of mischievous and ballsy wild monkeys are for local residents a regular problem. Now an academic seminar has been held to brainstorm ways of dealing with the monkeys harassing people.
According to Wallop Tangkunarak, chairman of a committee on wildlife protection, a master plan aims to relocate wild monkeys away from communities and lessen their interaction with humans.
In the provinces of Krabi, Phuket, Trang and Amnat Charoen where wild monkeys are encountered year round, signage will go up asking people not to feed monkeys or enter their habitats.
In Bangkok, Chonburi, Prachuab Khiri Khan and Satun provinces where monkeys live near communities, they will be neutered and relocated in an attempt to control their population numbers.
In Phetchaburi and Mukdahan provinces where residential development has taken over natural habitat areas of monkeys, special areas for the simians will be built for their relocation.