Thu, Jun 09, 2011 - Page 15 News List

Interpret monkey behavior to avoid attacks, officials say
農業局官員:看獼猴臉色 避猴群攻擊

A Formosan macaque eats fruit at a park while two women look on in Taitung County, Jan. 11.

Photo: Chang Tsun-wei, Taipei Times

Reports of macaques harassing and attacking members of the public in Greater Kaohsiung are common. The Agricultural Department of Kaohsiung has suggested that people should try to interpret macaque behavior and then make a move when they get a chance.

The number of macaques is on the increase in and around the Chaishan area, a Kaohsiung hiking mecca, and they have been harassing hikers there, at times even scratching and biting them. City councilors have urged the city government on numerous occassions to come up with a solution.

The city government has made a list of things for the public to think about and do should they encounter macaques. It recommends learning how to understand macaques’ behavior in order to reduce the incidence of the attacks.

The Department of Agriculture has come up with three categories of macaque behavior: hostile, aggressive and submissive. Hostile behavior includes “glaring”, “baring teeth in a threatening way” or “charging,” aggressive behavior means “chasing” and “attacking,” while submissive behavior is “showing teeth” and “crouching.”

However, the department’s descriptions are confusing. Its description of “glaring,” for example, includes mouth closed, eyes fixed on a specific object, the forehead and upper eyelids twitching, and sometimes raising its forehead so that its lower jaw juts out, moving its jaw back and forth.

According to the Agricultural Department, if people come across macaques acting in a hostile or aggressive way, they should leave the area as quickly as possible. If the macaques are behaving submissively, it is okay to chase them away with a threatening object. However, brandishing threatening objects are not permitted in the Chaishan Nature Reserve, as it would be a violation of the Wildlife Conservation Act. Some councilors have criticized the government for failing to ensure public safety, saying that asking people to learn how to read macaque behavior is entirely impractical.



1. harass v.

騷擾 (sao1 rao3)

例: The suspect is claiming that the police unfairly harassed him during his arrest.


2. mecca n.

聖地 (sheng4 di4)

例: During springtime the Tokyo Imperial Palace is a mecca for cherry blossom enthusiasts.


3. submissively adv.

臣服;順從 (chen2 fu2; shun4 cong2)

例: Why are there so many chauvinist men out there that want their wives to act submissively all the time?









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