Before there were hordes of tourists, before there were migrant workers, even before Thais, Malays, Chinese and people of a dozen other descents have started calling Phuket their home, there were monkeys. But now, some say that monkeys must go.
Phuket officials are mulling over the idea of relocating Phuket’s monkey population to one of the nearby islands. The reason? While some see the apes as a local attraction (Phuket Town’s Monkey Hill is as popular with monkeys as it is with tourists), some consider them a nuisance.
The relocation idea is not purely theoretical, already three nearby islands have been inspected as possible new homes for the monkeys.
The inspection was performed by the Director of the Khao Phra Thaew Non-Hunting Area Office in Thalang, Piyawat Sukhon, the man in charge of wild life conservation on our island. Together with Director of the Natural and Wildlife Education Centre at Khao Phra Theaw, Pongchart Chouehorm, and head of the Wildlife Research Station in Surat Thani, Greangsak Sribuarod as well as Pa Khlok Mayor Panya Sampaorat, they inspected the small islands of Koh Pae and Koh Thanan and Koh Malee.
“All three islands were found to be suitable new homes for any relocated monkeys and we need to talk with other relevant offices to make this project a reality,” said Mr Pongchart in a Phuket News report.
As it’s often the case with such projects, the road from the idea to its execution is long and uncertain, but it’s still worth sparing a though for Phuket’s monkeys. What do you think – should they stay or should they go?