The Greater Kaohsiung Government yesterday sent a draft bill to the municipal council proposing that the fine for people who feed a protected species of monkey be increased.
The new wildlife conservation bill stipulates that people who feed the Formosan Rock Macaque without permission will face fines of NT$5,000 to NT$10,000, the municipal government’s agriculture department, which drafted the new proposal, said on Sunday.
The macaques are known as being mischief makers that harass visitors for food at tourist sites, damage crops and even attack people with rocks.
Under the old regulations, enacted separately by the former Kaohsiung city and county governments before the two administrative districts were joined into a single municipality in 2010, the city imposed a fine of NT$6,000 on people who fed the primates, while the county fined violators between NT$4,000 and NT$8,000.
The department warned that hikers who feed the macaques, which are found in places like Shoushan (壽山) and Cishan (旗山), without permission could face fines once evidence against them is submitted.
Officials said that once the new regulations are in place, the department would continue cracking down on people that feed the macaques.
Last year, two hikers were fined NT$6,000 each for feeding the monkeys, the department said.