The situation with the monkeys in Lopburi has good so bad that many residents have to barricade themselves in their own houses. They need to put up netting and bars to stop the monkeys getting in and causing damage. As one resident said, it feels like the humans are in cages, while the monkeys roam freely outside.
Lopburi is the best place in Thailand to see monkeys, as thousands of them roam around the city. However, earlier this year they started to get bolder and more aggressive, as there was less food available due to the lack of tourists.
As can be seen in the video above, there are times when they rampage through the city cause lots of damage.
Lopburi has two gangs of monkeys, with the main group living around the Prang Sam Yod temple. This is right in the center, so the monkeys can roam freely from there.
Another group lives on the other side of the train track, and they usually both stick to their own territories.
But things have got so bad that officials need to take drastic action. One option is to move the monkeys to another part of the city, away from people. Many have objected to this idea, as the monkeys bring in lots of tourists to Lopburi. Without the monkeys, the tourists wouldn’t come in such large numbers.
Another option is to sterilize some of the monkeys to stop them breeding so quickly. In the last few years the number of monkeys has grown from 3,000 to 6,000. That’s far to many. The aim is to sterilize 500 of them this month, although many think that’s not enough.
Above you can see a video of the annual Lopburi Monkey Festival, where monkeys are given a huge buffet of fruit to eat.
At the moment, no-one really knows how to solve the problem with the monkeys, and and ideas are often met with resistance from locals. While the monkeys are a nuisance, they also bring money to the city.