It’s time to clamp down on the uncivilised behaviour of animals on the trails around Kowloon’s Monkey Mountain.
A recent visit to the macaques in Kam Shan Country Park illustrated just how obnoxious they can be. Not the monkeys, the Homo sapiens.
Despite numerous signs warning people not to feed the macaques, countless vehicles had been halted on the road along Kowloon Reservoir and food was being dropped out of open windows for the passengers’ entertainment.
This was nothing compared with the conduct at the minibus stop. First, a taxi pulled up and out got two young women and two wailing kids. One woman had a plastic bag full of bananas, which she threw, one by one, onto the road, tempting monkeys down from the trees. When some of the animals came too close, she threw the bag and the remaining bananas at them.
Even more upsetting was an elderly couple stooping to pick up stones to hurl at a small macaque sitting low in a tree. Fortunately, they were too decrepit to cause any harm, and the animal didn’t seem to give ... errr ... a monkey’s.
Another man past his prime in the minibus queue had a sturdy catapult tucked into his shorts, like a pistol in a holster. What for? Protection or sport?
The cheeky monkeys are certainly a pest if you want a snack on the track. The bolder ones will stalk you at the faintest rustle of a plastic bag, which can be scary when they are in groups. By feeding the animals, visitors are emboldening them – but that doesn’t make it acceptable to use them for target practice.
If you don’t like the macaques, take a hike elsewhere. Don’t visit Monkey Mountain for entertainment at the expense of the wildlife.