Baan Waan Monkeys Threatened By Taste For Exotic Cuisine

(29 April) Baan Waan Monkey Garden, of Srisaket province, once housed thousands of monkeys and was a natural tourist destination of the province. Currently, there are only 100 monkeys left.

Tourists who come to visit the monkeys often feed them candy and they flock to humans for food. This is due to the shortage of food and water, causing the monkeys to migrate to
the Muang Kan forest.

To assist the remaining monkeys, a youth volunteer group led by Mr.Poosit Jitmun, 25, and Mr. Suwan Pirarat, 25, have built a 2×2 metre well 30 cm. from the ground with the support of Mr.Chawaek Sriboon, the owner of Wung Oon, a retailer of construction materials.

The well is connected to the pipeline of Baan Waan School and will provide water for the monkeys during the drought.

Mr.Poosit states that the monkeys will be greatly affected by this year’s drought due to lack of food. The Subdistrict Administrative Organization feeds the monkeys rice every other day and the monkeys are starving. Currently, the monkeys are being fed by monks with bananas and whatever food is leftover from the food offerings every day at 10-11 AM.

Mr.Poosit adds that another important problem for these monkeys is the “exotic cuisine gang” that captures them and sells them to exotic restaurants to make dishes such as monkey brains.

The gang members lure the monkeys with food traps and are able to capture 10-20 monkeys at a time, he said, loading them on to pick-up trucks and heading to the central region.

Recently, our correspondent learns, locals have been able to apprehend the culprits along with their cage traps, but they were let go by the police, citing lack of evidence. The Don Poo Taa area is an open space whose border cannot be controlled. Currently, there are only100 monkeys left and they are close to extinction.

Mr.Poosit begs the officials to help protect these monkeys.