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Lop Buri Mayor Chamroen Salacheep Leads Initiative to Reclaim City from Monkey Menace

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In a captivating scene captured by the Lop Buri Municipality and posted on Monday, a woman is seen feeding a long-tailed macaque confined in a specially constructed cage. As Lop Buri officials step up their efforts to address the increasingly troublesome monkey population, the focus now shifts to the historic 13th-century ruins of Phra Prang Sam Yot and the Phra Kan Shrine, the city’s two iconic landmarks.

The mayor of Lop Buri, Chamroen Salacheep, announced this strategic pivot, noting that the initial cleanup has significantly reduced the number of monkeys causing havoc in the downtown area. “Our immediate goal is to build more cages to accommodate these animals. With the existing cages at full capacity, we must wait until the new enclosures are ready before we can continue our efforts,” explained Mayor Chamroen. “Please bear with us. We aim to make Lop Buri a monkey-free city by year-end.”

Rambunctious macaques have become more than a mere nuisance in Lop Buri. They plague local homes and businesses, sometimes even attacking unsuspecting tourists who offer them food. The construction of three spacious new cages aims to resolve this issue by providing adequate accommodation for the monkeys until they can be relocated. The city’s streets will again be safe for residents and tourists alike.

Phra Prang Sam Yot and Phra Kan Shrine are not just relics of centuries past but are also cultural treasures that deserve serene surroundings. Many potential tourists are daunted by tales of aggressive monkeys, leaving these majestic sites quieter than they should be. “We are hopeful,” Mayor Chamroen stated, “that removing the monkeys will breathe new life into the city’s tourism and economy. A town free of wild roaming monkeys would reinvigorate business and lure back the hesitant visitors who shied away due to the monkey menace.”

Since mid-May, workers from the Department of National Parks, Wildlife, and Plant Conservation, along with city municipality and other agencies, have successfully captured 1,191 long-tailed macaques. According to reports released on Saturday, the municipality is currently caring for 1,038 of these animals, with the remainder transferred to other locations. Initial phases of this operation primarily focused on downtown areas to relieve residents and businesses from the incessant raids.

With the next phase just around the corner, this concerted effort is anticipated to make considerable inroads in reclaiming the historic sites from macaque clutches. The mayor’s promise of a revitalized economy and secured living conditions for residents and tourists alike certainly adds a spark of hope for society.

Despite these ambitious plans, caring for more than a thousand captured monkeys demands resources. The municipality makes an open call for donations of food, inviting kind-hearted people to contribute and even feed the macaques directly, ensuring they are well cared for during their confinement. Wat Sao Thong Thong in the Muang district participates in this altruistic endeavor by organizing weekly ceremonies every Sunday where people can donate fruits, vegetables, and other leftover food to feed these confined primates.

In its quest to balance humane treatment with public safety, Lop Buri demonstrates a strong sense of community and resolve. As the city tackles this unique challenge, the glimmering promise of safer streets and bustling tourist spots looms on the horizon, a testament to what collective effort and dedicated governance can achieve.

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