Wild macaques in the Thai city of Lopburi are being sterilized en masse in an attempt to crack down on pesky primates, which are terrorizing city residents due to a drop in tourism amid the coronavirus pandemic.
With no visitors to feed and entertain them, the 2,000 Lopburi monkeys have begun to fight aggressively with the locals’ food.
“They are so used to tourists feeding them and the city doesn’t give them room to fend for themselves,” said Supakarn Kaewchot, a government veterinarian.
“With the disappearance of tourists, they have been more aggressive, fighting humans for food to survive,” said Supakarn.
“They are invading buildings and forcing locals to flee their homes.”
The monkeys reproduce at a rapid rate, so authorities plan to castrate 500 of the animals in the next two months.
Officials use the fruit to lure the bugs into cages, where vets sedate and shave them, tattoo the animals with a unique reference number, and then place them face-up for vasectomy or tubal ligation.
The photos show several of the zoned primates lying next to each other while undergoing the surgery, then snuggle together as they recover from the ordeal.
Each monkey receives one night under veterinary care before being released back onto the streets.
Supakarn said the goal was to curb the urban growth of the species.
“We are not doing this in nature,” he said, “only in areas of the city.”