Pesty primates ruffle feathers in Yunlin County 獼猴下雲林 大鬧斗六市

Sat, Dec 07, 2013 - Page 11

Formosan macaques can be aggravating for farmers. Aside from endangering people in mountainous areas, the flatland regions of Yunlin County’s Douliou City and Linnei Township have also frequently been ravaged by monkeys this year. The macaques are injuring tourists by scratching them and there is often news of groups of macaques behaving aggressively toward women and children if they are alone. Agriculture agencies in Yunlin County have launched a monkey-catching campaign.

Tourists oftentimes feed macaques along Provincial Highway No. 3 in Linnei Township and occasionally get attacked. Episodes of monkeys breaking into abandoned houses to look for food often occur, which is keeping local residents in a state of constant fear. Local agriculture officials recently used tranquilizer guns to tranquilize a macaque that they assumed was the leader of the group, releasing him back into the wild in a mountainous area. The move seemed to produce a temporary terrifying effect — the group of macaques disappeared for several days. In recent days, however, local government officials discovered that the macaques returned, making the monkeys a constant source of irritation.

The Douliou City Office says that this particular group of macaques appeared after several cold fronts hit at the beginning of the year. Tourists throw food along the road for them and an elderly woman in the area often feeds them fruit and vegetables, ostensibly making the Chukou Village area the living quarters for as many as 40 to 50 monkeys — a major nuisance for local residents. Workers from the county government and local city offices have been dispatched on a number of occasions and used firecrackers to drive away the macaques. As soon as the officials leave, however, the monkeys return.

Besides incidents of macaques attacking humans in Linnei, monkeys in Douliou City’s Sankuang Borough broke into a house once, jumping between the balconies and hitting the windows. The area surrounding the Yunlin County Government Cultural Affairs Department has nominally become the territory for several macaques. They move along the utility cables, often vandalizing orchards and chicken coops in the area. The Yunlin Agriculture Department has come up empty handed on several occasions when it tried to catch the monkeys.

Agriculture Department veterinarian Lin Pei-yi says that macaques are quite clever and cunning. Macaques vanish into thin air as soon as they see groups of humans, she says, adding that on one occasion when she was walking in the area alone, they saw her by herself and started making ferocious faces and violently shaking the trees to provoke her.

Douliou City Office veterinarian Lee Tsang-hai says that in recent years the Forestry Bureau has provided funding to drive out the macaques, using an array of firecrackers, including whistling firecrackers and bamboo canons. It has had a limited effect on the intrepid monkeys and impelled them to move down to the flatlands instead. Some people have suggested capturing them and tying their fallopian tubes, while others have suggested allowing a limited degree of hunting, similar to what Australia has done with kangaroos and England with rabbits. A conclusion has yet to be reached as to which method would be the most effective.

(Liberty Times, Translated by Kyle Jeffcoat)

讓農民恨的牙癢癢的台灣彌猴不只危害山區,雲林縣斗六市、林內鄉平地今年紛傳猴群入侵,除有遊客遭抓傷,還頻傳猴群挑釁落單婦孺情況,縣內農政單位已展開「抓猴」大作戰。

台三線林內鄉因有遊客餵食猴群時遭抓傷,也常傳出猴群闖入空屋覓食情況,嚇得附近民眾提心吊膽,公所農政人員日前以麻醉槍射昏一隻疑似「猴王」的猴子,並送往其他山區野放後,似乎有短期「恐嚇」效果,猴群失蹤多日,但公所人員最近發現猴群又返回,為此頭痛不已。

公所指出,這群彌猴年初接連多波寒流後出現,由於有遊客路過時會順便丟食物,附近又有一名阿婆常帶著水果、蔬菜前來餵食,觸口附近最後幾乎已成為猴群居住地,多達四、五十隻,對居民造成困擾,縣府、公所多次派員以鞭炮等方式驅趕,但總是人員一離開,猴群就返回。

除了林內,斗六市區也傳出「猴害」,三光里曾有猴子闖進民宅,在陽台跳上跳下,還拍打窗戶;縣府文化處附近目前也成為三、四隻彌猴「地盤」,牠們沿著電線活動,附近的果園、雞舍頻遭破壞,但縣府農業處多次圍捕均無所獲。

縣府農業處獸醫林佩羿說,獼猴很聰明、狡猾,看到人多,往往不見蹤影,有次她獨自前往,獼猴見她一人,面露猙獰、抱著樹狂搖挑釁。

斗六市公所獸醫李滄海說,近幾年林務局補助山區驅趕,用笛聲炮、竹管炮等炮竹,猴子根本不怕,效果有限,甚至反而促使猴群往平地移動,有人建議捕捉結紮,也有人建議學習澳洲袋鼠、英國野兔做法,適度開放獵殺,但何種方式有效,目前仍無定論。

(自由時報記者黃淑莉)