[monkeywire] Cambodians debate: Do gangster monkeys sniff glue?
jneil at echonyc.com
Tue Jan 17 08:15:19 EST 2006
From the Cambodia Daily, Tuesday Jan. 10, 2006, page 16
'Gangster monkeys' a Menace, Neighbors Say
By Lor Chandara and David McFadden
The Cambodia Daily
A roving band of what one municipal official has dubbed "gangster
monkeys" has been swiping laundry, biting students and eluding police
across Daun Penh district in Phnom Penh.
Pich Socheata, deputy governor of Daun Penh district, said monday that
she will seek approval from City Hall to launch a campaign to capture
unruly, violent wild monkeys.
"We have to collect the nasty monkeys from the city. Otherwise they
will disturb visitors and people living in the neighborhood," she said.
"I have seen some monkeys grab glue bags from street kids and then they
climbed up trees and sniffed it up. That's why some monkeys become
violent and attack people."
Phnom Penh Governor Kep Chuktena, however, dismissed the notion that
any of the macaques, which he said are largely peaceful animals and
popular with tourists, have been sniffing glue. "No, there are no
monkeys sniffing glue. Some become violent because of sexual
motivations," he said.
Pich Socheata estimated that more than 200 wild monkeys congregate in
trees around Wat Phnom, the Ministry of Commerce and the French school
Lycee Rene Descartes. Following recent complaints of monkey attacks on
members of the public, the Daun Penh district has seized 15 macaques.
"We contacted the Cambodian authorities to tell them that the monkeys
were in the vcinity of the school and were affecting the safety of the
students," said Claude Abily, French Embassy spokeswoman. "There have
been several instances of students who have been bitten."
John Daigle, spokesman for the US Embassy, housed across from Wat
Phnom, said the embassy has not contacted district officials about the
At Lycee Rene Descartes, an administrator, who said school policy
prevented her from giving her name, confirmed that a few students had
been bitten by monkeys coming on school grounds because of a fig tree,
which has since been cut down for that reason.
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