Beware of the Monkeys it can get messy!

IMG_20150923_173321Those cute little monkeys that hang out in tourist areas of Thailand are dangerous! Yep, it’s the truth. They are hungry, aggressive and have major boundary issues.

Thailand is home to many different species of monkeys, but the most common monkey you’ll see when visiting is a macaques (pronounced “ma kak”), they are a small, grey or grey-brown animal that usually hangs out in and around trees.

The average Thai macaque is around two feet high and about 7kg, but just because they seem small and cute doesn’t mean they can’t mess your shit up.

According to a recent news report in Thailand, approximately 600 tourists were treated after monkey attacks last year at Phi Phi island hospital alone. Thai authorities have even put up warning signs telling people to beware, but it doesn’t seem to stop incidents from happening.

In some tourist areas, including during group tour visits to Monkey Beach and Phuket city, I experienced tour guides encouraging visitors to feed these animals bananas (which you can conveniently buy from a street vendor), and the macaques are so used to getting food from humans that they will aggressively snatch it from people’s hands, grab for it or otherwise act aggressive when you not presenting it to them quickly enough.

Monkey Hill Hua Hin TemplePeople shy away (often in fear) or try to stop them from taking food are sometimes scratched or bitten. The sad part of it is that these monkeys have been acclimated by tourists and tour guides who think it’s cute and fun to hand feed wild animals. If your tour guide gives you bananas for the monkeys, you don’t have to participate.

DO NOT let small children interact with them and throw the food towards them instead of waiting for them to take it out of your hand.

These primates are very protective of their young. DO NOT approach or try to touch a young monkey and especially do not approach a mother monkey with a nursing baby. Macaques are social creatures and come to the defense of each other. If you are bitten or scratched, you need to get a tetanus shot and have your wound cleaned.