Monkey population is now out of control

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 12 May, 2002, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 12 May, 2002, 12:00am

I refer to the letter from J K Chan of the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD), regarding the department's efforts to deal with the macaque monkeys (Sunday Morning Post, May 5).

Do the AFCD wardens enforce the monkey-feeding ban during weekends and public holidays? What is done to prevent monkeys from approaching people?

Clearly, whatever the AFCD is doing is not discouraging or preventing people from continuing to feed the animals. Visitors to the Tai Po Road area at Kam Shan Country Park and Shek Lei Pui reservoir will see hundreds of monkeys looking for anything to eat.

Obligingly, people enjoying picnics and barbecues provide them with an easily available supply of handouts and scraps.

No matter how many fruit trees have been planted, the monkeys roam further afield looking for food and they regularly visit the residential areas of Tai Po Road. We live near Sha Tin Heights and are used to seeing bands of monkeys in the nearby fruit trees. They posed no threat until the weekend before last.

Shouts from our helper alerted us to the fact that a monkey had come into our house.

Having gained access through a small window at the top of the house and come down three flights of stairs, a mature adult monkey was sitting in the middle of the dining room. Fortunately, our helper was able to coax it out of the house, but I shudder to think what might have happened if she or the animal had panicked. The growing monkey population must be curbed as there is evidently insufficient food in the natural environment for them.

AFCD wardens must patrol the area to enforce the ban on feeding and fine those who do feed them. More publicity should be given to the whole campaign on a more regular basis.


Sha Tin