After Many Captured, Kampong Cham Monkeys Become Wary

 Kampong Cham: Scores of monkeys living in Phnom Pros Phnom Srey resort were captured by Forestry Administration officials and taken to Phnom Tamao, Bati district, Takeo province, after requests from the people and the pagoda committee. The simians are accused of biting, injure tourists and destroying public and private property. Around half of them are still left, and quickly go into hiding when they environmental officers arriving. On the last mission to capture the troop, not a single monkey was taken.

Prak Noma, director of the Kampong Cham Forestry Administration, said on January 12 that the hunt at Wat Phnom Pros had been going on for many years.  The Forestry Administration of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries cooperated with the Wildlife Conservation Organization (WYT) to capture them several times, each time collecting about 20 to 25 monkeys.

The director of the Forestry Administration added that the capture of the monkeys was made at the request of the people who were victims of bites. The animals also broke the windshield of a tourist car, and destroyed the lights and wires in the pagoda.

Mak Hok Pheng, 72, a member of the Wat Phnom Pros committee, said that officials had come down to catch monkeys about three times. More than 100 heads have been lifted and released in Phnom Ta Mao. However, more than 100 monkeys remaining, the last two times monkey catchers came they did not catch a single one. The monkeys apparently recognized the team’s car and ran away.

Heng Peng Srean, who sells juices and fruits at Wat Phnom Pros, said he supported the capture of monkeys, because there are a lot of bad ones, which bite guests, break lights and bite electrical wires, which could start a fire. The pagoda has wrapped poles or pillars in barbed wire to prevent them from climbing up.

The 36-year-old said: “But after the absence of some monkeys and the crisis of COVID-19, the number of visitors has dropped. When visitors arrive, they often ask where the missing animals are. RASMEI

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