NAKHON SAWAN — Despite what locals believed was a supernatural giant ape, experts on Friday said the unidentified creature sighted on top of a mountain was most likely just an ordinary monkey.
A video that went viral on social media over the past days shows what appears to be a human-sized primate sitting on top of the Khao No-Khao Kaeo mountain in Nakhon Sawan province.
Intouch Sirichantho, a municipal worker who filmed the video, described the creature as the legendary “Monkey King,” which he believed to have inhabited the mountain since ancient times.
“The video was captured in the morning of Sept. 8 while I was travelling to work,” Intouch said. “I saw something moving on top of the mountain, so I stopped and recognized that the object appeared to resemble a human-sized monkey. It sat on the peak with its tail wagging, so I immediately took my phone out to film it.”
Intouch said there have been reports of sightings in the past, but the mysterious creature seems to be shy to humans.
“There was a tourist who said he encountered a giant ape with a very long tail on his way to the summit,” Intouch said. “It stared at the tourist momentary before vanishing into the cracks.”
A Khaosod Online reporter interviews a local about the sightings on top of the Khao No-Khao Kaeo mountain.
Phra Khu Niwet Sirirak, the abbot of the Wat Khao No at the foot of the mountain, also shared a similar encounter.
“It’s body was golden,” the abbot said. “It’s not as large as a human, but it’s significantly larger than its peers. It threatened to bite me, but I said to the creature that I meant no harm and stepped away from it.”
But the sightings were met with skepticism from experts in Bangkok, who said it is unlikely to find a primate with the size of a human in Thailand.
“There are only five species of primate found in Thailand, which are pig-tailed macaques, stump-tailed macaques, Rhesus macaques, Assam macaques, and crab-eating macaques,” Somying Tunhikorn, a primate expert from the conservation department, said.
“All of them are not that large. It’s unlikely to find a monkey with that size in that area.”
Suchinda Malaivijitnond, director of the National Primate Research Center, identified the creature as a stump-tailed macaque or a crab-eating macaque based on the footage.
She said it is improbable that the money belonged to some kind of mutated species as believed by the locals.
“It’s not going to survive with the large size,” Suchinda said. “The environment is quite dry and mountainous. It’s not suitable for living.”