[monkeywire] Thailand Opens First Hospital for Monkeys

gregory nahas lettherebemonkeys at yahoo.com
Wed Dec 3 11:25:15 EST 2003


Thailand Opens First Hospital for Monkeys 
1 hour, 25 minutes ago  Add Strange News - AP to My

By ALISA TANG, Associated Press Writer 

LOPBURI, Thailand - At least seven patients crowded
the hospital room. Four with respiratory diseases were
on the same examination table, out cold from
anesthesia. Another had survived a fall from a
building, and one more — hit by a car — had a broken
It was a busy day at Thailand's first monkey hospital,
which opened Wednesday in Lopburi, 70 miles north of

The 2,000 monkeys roaming free in central Lopburi are
the city's main tourist attraction. A feast held for
them each November brings thousands of visitors. 

Treating monkeys is hard work, said Dr. Somsak
Naksomboon, a veterinarian who works at the hospital. 

"If you work with wild animals, you have to
anesthetize them," he said. "Plus, they're harder to
catch than your regular domesticated pets." 

Medics who try to take the sick and injured animals to
the doctor are treated like kidnappers by the monkeys.

"We have to be quick, because hundreds will rush in to
bite you to protect their pack," Somsak said. 

The 8,440-square-foot monkey hospital, located at the
Lopburi Zoo, has operating, examination, treatment and
admittance rooms. The $45,000 center was built with
loans and donations from animal lovers. 

Respiratory problems are common among monkeys when
seasons change, Somsak said. Winter has arrived in
tropical Thailand, and temperatures can drop to about
59 degrees Fahrenheit at night. 

Four big monkeys, suffering from colds, had to be put
on intravenous drips because they hadn't eaten in
days. They also had to be anesthetized, or they'd pull
out their IV needles. 

They'll be released after treatment. 

"Before, we used to take them to the vet clinics in
town, but those vets are usually best equipped to take
care of cats and dogs," said Somsak, who helped set up
the hospital. 

Monkeys need medical equipment that's "more like that
for humans, and is much more expensive," he said. 

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