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Wild monkeys

Hong Kong officials now administering birth control to wild monkeys

Wednesday, May 11, 2011 by: Jonathan Benson, staff writer
Tags: wild monkeys, birth control, health news

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(NaturalNews) The population of macaque monkeys in and around Hong Kong has become so extreme and pervasive that officials there have begun administering birth control to the animals. Recent reports explain that conservation department officials are now trapping female macaques in baited cages, and performing sterilization surgeries on them -- and the efforts are a response to the growing number of complaints alleging that the monkeys are aggressively targeting humans for food.

Hong Kong is located directly adjacent to wildlife areas where macaque monkeys thrive. A Yahoo News report explains that there are now more than 2,000 monkeys living near the city, and many of them have grown accustomed to humans, having lost their natural fear of them. As a result, the monkeys allegedly chase tourists in search of food, and even pickpocket random people in urban areas.

"I think we still have plenty of space for wildlife. But the countryside and the city are adjacent to each other and sometimes there is conflict," said Chung-tong Shek of the Hong Kong government's conservation department. "There is plenty of food inside the city in the garbage. Some of them get lost in the city from time to time."

Earlier monkey population control efforts involved capturing monkeys in order to perform vasectomies on the males, and to administer drug injections to the females. But now officials have decided to perform twice-monthly sterilization procedures on just the female monkeys instead, which is said to have reduced their population to roughly 1,500.

Conservation officials stress that the efforts are not designed to eliminate the macaque population, but rather to reduce and control it. Since the new sterilization protocol has been enacted, the number of complaint calls being made about out-of-control monkey incidents has dropped 86 percent. Experts hail the efforts as an example of successful, non-lethal population control among nuisance animals.

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