Monkey population on the rise in Bangsar

THE monkeys are back in Bukit Bandaraya, Bangsar.

Just when the residents thought the monkey problems have subsided, they are making an appearance in recent months.

Bukit Bandaraya Resident Association vice president K. Kanagaandram said the increasing numbers of monkeys are due to the clearing of forest.

“When there was development five to six years ago, the forest was cleared and the monkeys have nowhere to go so they came to the residential area,” said Kanagaandram.

“After the Wildlife and National Park Department (Perhilitan) caught the monkeys, the number dropped and we did not face any problems since then. However, we noticed that the monkeys are back about five months ago,” he said.

“The monkeys are a plain nuisance. They would go into the kitchen and bedrooms and mess up the place. They would even steal the bananas placed at the altar in the praying room. Once, there was a case where the monkeys attacked children,” he said.

Yesterday, the Perhilitan team, led by wildlife assistant officer Ismail Mamat, went to Bukit Bandaraya to collect the trap. There were four monkeys in the trap.

Kanagaandram said that he had placed some bananas in the trap as bait for the monkeys.

Ismail said the species of monkeys found in Bukit Bandaraya are the long-tailed macaque (Macaca fascicularis).

“Previously, we have placed two traps measuring 2.44m x 2.44m. A total of 109 monkeys were caught in 2007 and 97 last year.

“After the numbers decreased, we removed the trap in May last year and placed it in other areas with monkey problems.

“However, there monkeys have reappeared so we brought back the traps on the 25th last month. Since then, we have caught five (including the four today),” he said.

He added, “We have asked the residents to call us if they notice monkeys caught in the trap. Even if it is only one monkey, they do not have to wait till more are trapped.

“The monkeys caught will be released in the forest in Gombak and Semenyih,” he said.

He also advised the public against feeding the monkeys.

“This will encourage them to develop a habit of expecting people to feed them, hence they will snatch food from passers-by as they think that the food is meant for them.

Kanagaandram added that the article in StarMetro on June 3 (“Public park turning into a monkey enclave”) helped to highlight monkey problems.

“Many do not know what to do and who to call when they come across monkeys. Now they know they can call the Perhilitan for help,” he said.

The public can call the Federal Territory Wildlife and National Park Department (Perhilitan) at 03-90866800/ 03-90866805 (Ismail) or the Selangor Perhilitan at 03-5519 3915.

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