An investigation is under way in Wang Saphung district of Thailand’s north-eastern province of Loei, in an effort to explain the mysterious disappearance of hundreds of macaque monkeys from a forest temple.
Pracha Saenklang, the Wang Saphung district chief officer, ordered an investigation in response to complaints by some visitors to Tham Pha Mak Ho Temple, in Ban Thai Charoen village of Si Songkhram sub-district, that there used to be about 3,000 macaques in the compound and now there are only about 200.
A villager said that, last December, some men claiming to be forest officials arrived at the temple, armed with tranquiliser guns, to capture some of the monkeys for relocation elsewhere. They said that there were too many monkeys at the temple and that they have been causing damage to crops and property in the neighbourhood.
Pracha said yesterday (Sunday) that he had made enquiries with forest and livestock officials as to whether any of them have captured the monkeys for relocation and their replies were negative.
He said that the probe will proceed, to discover whether any of the captured monkeys were exported.