14 April, 2024

Blog

Monkey Business

By Ranil Senanayake –

Dr Ranil Senanayake

So, the Monkey business has come down to murder or export. It is true that monkeys among other wildlife have benefitted greatly living in a country that holds values such as karuna and metta in high esteem. The other feature that helped was that, over the years of war, guns were generally unavailable to the public. These features facilitated the population increase that we witness today. It is also true that the monkey population not only increased, but were also relocated when they became a problem in some areas, without a thought of their impact on the recipients of that translocation action. It is clear that some of the current monkey problems, were direct creations of ‘official’ translocation activities. 

The current preoccupation on export suggests that the Government officials involved have no option other than murder or export that they can place on the table. Killing the monkeys is a more humane way than exporting them to a life of torture and agony, but handing out guns and make people accustomed to killing might not be the wisest way of getting about it. To be fair, wildlife management in todays human dominated world has to consider population control. As much as there is a call for increasing the populations of endangered species, there is a corresponding need to control populations of species that threaten the sustainability of the ecosystem that they live in. It is clear that the Wild Life Department has the responsibility under law of protecting wild life, in fact the name Dept of Wildlife and Conservation, underwrites this responsibility. Having staff distributed through the nation, they must maintain a database recording all the instances of monkey problems. Could we not use the government machinery to address this problem differently ?

The monkey under consideration is the Rhesus Macaque. As a farmer I can attest to the problems that monkeys create on my own farm. It is not only the fruits and vegetables that they steal but they seem to delight in wanton damage. They will lift roof tiles to gain access to a house and wreck much of the contents before they exit through the opening they made. They have developed a new habit of wrecking the wing mirror of vehicles and they have learnt how to circle and gang up on any hapless farm dog that challenges them. It is easy to loose patience at the outrageous behavior of these animals but is killing them or exporting them to a fate worse than death the only options?  

A recent press report states that ‘The decision to export toque macaque monkeys was made in order to control the monkey population in the country, in accordance to international standards’ then it goes on to dismiss claims that the first phase of the program would see 100,000 toque macaque monkeys being exported to China, while in fact the actual figure would be between 500 and 1,000. What is going on? Will the export of 500-1000 monkeys, help in controlling the monkey population in the country? Scientific studies conclude that “Management actions designed to eradicate the macaque population would be most effective by removing 50% of subadults and adults at least”. In the light of this information, it is doubtful if the  planned export of 500-1000 individuals will help in controlling the existing monkey population today.

One of the most appalling thing is the sheer ignorance demonstrated by those pontificating on the issue. This monkey is not an unknown species, Rhesus macaques are the most studied nonhuman primate, both in the field and in laboratory settings. As a species found throughout Indochina, many countries have faced similar situations and responded in different ways. However, population control was looked at in a humane manner at that time. Early field tests were carried out in Hong Kong 2002, in the world’s first monkey  contraceptive programme targeting a citywide population of macaques, using methods including vasectomies on males and temporary injections on females. Now the programme focuses on the sterilisation of females, which is done about twice a month, bringing the total of monkeys permanently or temporarily neutered to more than 1,500.

There are other chemical means such as the use of Deslorelin acetate which is a commercially available gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonist that may provide a relatively noninvasive, long-lasting, and potentially reversible alternative to standard NHP contraception methods. The National Primate Research Center at the University of California, Davis, has developed a new contraceptive called Vasalgel which has been shown to be an effective form of birth control in rhesus monkeys. Himachal Pradesh spent around $1 million to set up eight sterilization centers. Officials pay trappers a bonus of nearly $10 a head for capturing the animals. Over the past 10 years, the state has sterilized more than 125,000 monkeys.

Finally, there is the history of the human birth control pill development of when animal experiments in the late 1930s demonstrated that high-dose progesterone could arrest ovulation. Massive animal tests followed to demonstrate the effectiveness and safety of the birth control pill, the animals that contributed to the testing was none other than our resus monkey! So, could we use feeding behavior patterns to establish feeding stations that provide with food laced with human birth control powder?  Should not the people with a mandate of managing wild life begin work on humane population control methods rather than just mouthing violent knee jerk reactions?

Again, as a farmer, plagued with destruction of crops by hordes of monkeys, I look for some resolution. I look to the government to provide answers. As a scientist I know that there are lots of animal control methods, both existing and under research that we should be looking at. But the current response of ‘kill or export’ demonstrates to the nation, the lazy, shallow ill-informed and uncaring attitude towards nature, that seems to be a hallmark of this administration.

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Latest comments

  • 11
    5

    What a windfall for bankrupt SL, exporting pests. What’s next, stray cats & dogs? The rat population has also boomed in recent years. Wish we could send them as well.

    • 6
      7

      “5,000 years ago, rodents were apparently considered food in part of Europe”
      [https://phys.org/news/2016-10-years-rodents-apparently-food-europe.html]
      Revive that and there is a good market.
      *
      “The consumption of dog meat is said to be most common in China, South Korea, the Philippines, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, and the Nagaland region in India, but it is not considered widespread in any of these locations.”
      *
      “..as of 2014, around 3% of people in Switzerland (particularly in rural areas) eat dog meat in the form of jerky or traditional sausages. Additionally, the Polish believe that dog fat has medicinal properties such as relieving joint pain and body aches. Laws in the U.K. forbid the sale of dog meat, but appear to allow for the killing and consumption of dog meat as long as the animal is owned by the killer/consumer and is killed humanely.”
      [https://worldpopulationreview.com/country-rankings/what-countries-eat-dogs]
      “Cat meat is traditionally eaten in Portugal and a few Atlantic Spanish cities.”
      According to HuffPost and a few Indian news outlets in 2016, cat meat was being served as mutton in parts of Chennai
      *
      So there is a promising market in Europe. India too!
      All it takes is good promo.

      • 3
        0

        SJ,
        “All it takes is good promo.”
        Like the geniuses who turned coconut oil into a deadly poison, and now push it as a health food.
        I really pity the poor suckers who swallowed the tale and spent most of their lives avoiding the tastiest food available.

        • 3
          0

          OC,
          and continued in the intake of Palm Oil or substitutes and MUCH MORE COSTLY product than Cocoanut Oil!!???

    • 8
      0

      Raj-UK,
      Certainly better than “exporting SL women folk for Labour” to all the countries!!!!!!??????
      Definitely not a supporter of the “Export of monkeys”????
      Selling SL women for SEX trade in ME countries or Monkeys to Chinese Labs!!!???

      • 3
        3

        “exporting SL women folk for Labour”
        Have we forgotten whose bright idea it was, or are we too embarrassed to mention the name?

        • 3
          0

          SJ,
          Perhaps you would be so kind enough to enlighten mere mortals as o the proponent of that idea, which is thriving and considered the 2nd most if not primary export earner of the Sri Lankan economy!!!??

    • 7
      0

      Not only said monkeys but elephants, giant squirrels, peacocks, wild boars, Mahinda Rajapaksas and their slaves also destroy the livelihood of its people.

      Complete ignorance and advanced complex is the root cause:

      https://news.mongabay.com/2023/03/as-crop-raiding-animals-reach-an-all-time-high-food-crisis-hit-sri-lanka-looks-for-solutions/

      This did not emerge suddenly, but because of long-term apathy and ignorance of wildlife conservation guidelines. It’s time to reflect on where we’ve excelled over the past 15 years.
      :
      Instead they want us to compare the Sinhalese nation (Radical Republicans) with Israeli and American white supremacists. 2500 years old heritage and “Ravana stories” have destroyed the psyche of our people.

      Only God can decide this contest.

      What they did to their own minorities is boomerang for them today.

      Many will call me a traitor, but I am telling the truth.

  • 6
    3

    This admin. will breed more monkeys for the continuous export potential…..raw live-monkey brain to become an advertising strategy for high-end restaurants. The next big innovative idea.

  • 4
    4

    Don’t forget this is a holly Buddhist country. Constitution gives priority to “foster” , “Foremost “.above all.

    • 3
      0

      In speaking with a veterinarian who has contributed greatly to balancing the increasing number of stray cats and dogs in Greece, Bulgaria and several other east European countries, it became clear that guidelines have no choice but to kill them.
      In any case, this will not be an easy task in the “Sinhala Buddhist Society”, even if it is a fake Buddhist society…
      it is comparable with cancers, if it would take long, cure will be questionable . I mean most types of cancer can be cured in its early stages. However, if the authorities in wild conservations in SL do not act quickly and with sustained measures, Sri Lanka’s overpopulation of wildlife will become a real threat. In European stray dogs, contraceptives were introduced to dogs and cats, and males were castrated. Their cultural resistance is not that high even if some environmentalitst would stand against.

      I think we can start it with monkeys soon for castration and contraceptives.^. They should do the same with elephants and peacocks.Our authorities should promptly work having studied the guidance of fellow countries closely, how they succeeded getting it balanced in their countries.

  • 4
    0

    Good proposals to use contraception as a means of controlling the rhesus macaque population, which I believe is mainly in the urban areas where human abound? The problem with using chemical / hormonal contraception in animal feed is that it is like a sawn-off shotgun and there can be lots of unintended consequences, including disrupting hormornal balances of juveniles which can create havoc in poulations – Godzilla comes to mind, but this is no joke.

    Now, to raise another point, the author says, “Management actions designed to eradicate the macaque population would be most effective by removing 50% of subadults and adults at least” – while we are at it, pray can the authorities create economies of scale and also export 50% of the subadult and adults from the Rajapakse population, to free things up a bit and give us suffering Lankans some relief?

    • 1
      0

      ES,
      Very good, wise and appropriate proposition!!!???

  • 3
    4

    Evil Emperor Administration and Rowdy Royal’ strategy and Juniors Richard violence on Tamil Boys and girls forcing them to the far away countries have stopped the population growth at 22M for some time. Of course, all developed countries are eager to bring their wages down, so many are willing to train and take the population to their countries. How a Modaya country keeps losing the top-notch cream to foreign countries can advance its social civilization, education or even the economy. Some time back Hitler, when he ran out of dollar, he negotiated Chinese Hunu to import. But how did these Rowdy 225+1 monkeys in Diyawanna Lake explain it? They said, in the middle of the recession, they were switching over to eco farming. That is how they saved the Langkang agricultural system, which they claim, invented natural irrigation systems and made the country prosper. Now the donkeys are saying that they have no way to manage the Langkang Wild reserves, so exporting the Monkeys. If they are honest in their talk, can they give the monkeys for free to China and get an agreement that China should fund the local environmentalist to visit annually China and ensure the monkeys’ wellbeing over there? Rascal, Furthermore, in China a social organization should endorse the safety of these poor animals. Rascals, Rascals they are all doubly Rascal wild lions!

  • 3
    4

    Including writer everyone else, only focus on controlling the monkey population in SL. Even countries like Australia resort to inhuman aerial shooting of camels to control its population in the past. But for me the real danger is, if we allow the locals without precaution and scientific knowledge to handle wildlife such as the monkey will make the human to virus contact easy as possible which is only exists in wildlife animals. We don’t want to start a new pandemic and crisis situation with that as like Covid-19 aka SARS-CoV-2 virus.

    • 5
      0

      Camels like foxes, rabbits wild horses or brumbies are introduced species to Australia and their population have exploded causing many environmental problems so they are culled. However, even native Kangaroo populations are culled too. Kangaroo meat is exported but no one exports thousands of live Kangaroos to any other country.

      • 0
        0

        Exemplary, stupefying state of Stupidity!!?? Process of extermination DISCOUNTED ‘OUTSOURCING’!?
        Good Buddhists do not kill themselves, but would permit others commit the dastardly act knowingly!?
        SMART, CUNNING, OVERWHELMING!!!!!
        Wonderful accomplishment in keeping with Lord Buddha’s teachings!!!

      • 1
        1

        Dear SSS,
        .
        What you say about the export of kangaroo meat is a damning condemnation of fake Sinhala-Buddhism.
        .
        My knowledge of Buddhism isn’t deep, but I respect the Dharma. Gauthama advocated a middle path, and himself ate meat on occasion. So do most monks (with many complaints from the flesh-eating laymen who must prepare meals for alms-givings which must provide a good meal!)
        .
        Buddhism claims to be scientific. We must use common-sense. Some species have evolved to be herbivores, but other up the food chain are carnivorous. Let’s respect vegans because of their principles, but most of us feed on hapless animals. If we do that, let’s at least be honest and not hypocritical like Gota who wanted to export live cattle to Bangladesh, and import beef.
        .
        I have swotted mosquitos, and I don’t spare a leech that has dared regard my blood as food. I have never killed an animal for food. If I were to think myself morally superior to a profession butcher, I’m a hypocrite.
        .
        Therefore, export monkey flesh, not live animals.

        • 0
          0

          Relevance (Part I)
          S_M,
          “My knowledge of Buddhism isn’t deep, but I respect the Dharma.
          1. GAUTAMA ADVOCATED A MIDDLE PATH, and
          2. HE ATE MEAT ON OCCASIONS.
          3. So do most monks (with many complaints FROM THE FLESH-EATING LAYMEN WHO MUST PREPARE MEALS FOR ALMS-GIVING’S WHICH MUST PROVIDE A GOOD MEAL!?)
          (1) Above, from the little knowledge I have of the Buddha Dhamma or philosophy, including history, is absolutely correct
          (2) Above, is true before enlightenment, when he was a Laymen Prince Siddhartha he did take part in Hunting and partaking as food the ‘Game’!! Not after enlightenment as Gautama the Buddha!!!
          He was against consumption of meat and flesh after ENLIGHTENMENT, not primarily because of consumption, but because of the agony caused – Killing of Animals of all kinds, including ‘Game’ and for consumption as FOOD!!!???
          Relevance as to time tag of events!!!??
          (3) Above, is evidently happens and the Laity, take exception at the fact the clergy, according to Buddhist precepts must not seek extraordinary item of luxury – to be contended with basic necessities, than luxuries!!!
          The relevance is monks specifying, that they need Ocean harvested ‘Seer Fish’ (Thora Malu) and not Tank harvested Chinese Carp Fish!!!???
          (TBC)
          as to time tag of events!!!??

        • 1
          0

          (Part II)
          Wholesome meals are important to all, w/o exception, but according to Buddhist edicts, demanding specifics and luxuries normally denied to public are deemed should not be demanded from Dayakas who provide Alms to the priests!? That amounts to ”THANNAWA”, WHICH IS CLEARLY TABOO!!??
          My take is someone has distorted the precepts, probably with Mischievous Intentions!!???
          Hope not, OC, Nimal. or NV has given you a Dirachha Lanoo!!!????

          • 1
            0

            Dear Mahila,
            .
            “My take is someone has distorted the precepts, probably with Mischievous Intentions!!??”.
            .
            NOBODY but medamulana bastards misled the average by sending the “sinhala buddhism ☸️ pills 💊 across the island. If my memory is right youth did nt kneel down before any adult 🤔 in 70ties and 80ties. But today parents and children [little and grown up] fall before u as a gesture of saying 👏. Fake sinhala buddhism is replaced with Rajapakse-Sataka-Buddhism.
            .
            Look, can anybody consider any of Rajapakses as a simple 🤔 buddist that respect 5 precepts?
            Given any chance Mahinda pariah 👨 manipulated the poor villagers for his voter gains. This was a long driven well thought project. That is how, he became the status of religion, unfortunately, by totally misleading the very same stupid 😑 audience.
            He kissed 💋 little ones in public to stand out among the voters.
            To me all these are similar to an act of a red light business running pimp. Srilanken expatriates can get it easily., how mlechcha Rajapakses are.
            .
            Tbc

    • 2
      1

      Aussie’s camel ,Hitler’s chambers why not the monkeys, for minorities trumatize Intimidation devastation chased away
      All for to preserve the 2500,may find cruel but that’s remorse. Only for super sinhala Buddhists 69.

    • 1
      0

      Dayan,
      Did the Covid-19 or SARS start in our country??? No!!!
      It started in China in the Wet Market in all probability!!
      So we are exporting the Monkeys to China and may well end up in the same Wet Market!!????
      You are helping indirectly start Viral disease spread and infection in humans!!?????????
      Possibly another Pandemic!!???

  • 2
    4

    imagine this poor fellow in a chinese lab instead of a sri lankn tree.

    • 6
      0

      Shankar,
      .
      The poor monkeys have already done far less damage to this nation than the Rajapaksas and their slaves. In our hell, those 3 main races are Rajapaksa’s slaves.

  • 5
    1

    Some 40% of crops are destroyed by monkeys in Sri Lanka. Coconut trees stop producing nuts after they are attacked by monkeys. Kithul treacle which is a great emerging export as juggery and syrup form is affected with tappers not willing to even try tapping due to monkeys drinking the sap. Fruit trees are useless talking about. We are loosing a lot of money by acting like idiots. That most Sri Lankans are idiots is proved by the dumb comments being made here. They run on the roofs of Colombo’s residential areas. A cite that never happened in the past. We see peacocks where no peacock should be seen. Destruction of habitat due to bone headed greed of the Rajapakshes and their ever worshiping herd of cattle have also contributed to the problem. So finally a responsible government has acknowledged the problem and i s looking for ways to solve it. What do we care about Chinese intentions. Stop the stupidity. Also We are bankrupt in case you did not notice. Our government cannot spend to sterilizing human beings much less Monkeys.

    • 0
      0

      thiha

      today’s new says the monkey brains are to be eaten raw while they are still alive.You say what do we care about what the chinese do to our monkeys.You don’t mind them doing this.However you have a point when you say people are having problems.In these type of circumstances we have to see how people and animals can cohabit without getting problems.farmers are having problems with elephants too.As humans encroach more and more into their habitats and migration trails this is bound to happen.

      so let us see how we are to solve this problem between animals and humans.In sri lanka we have not even been able to solve the problems between humans and humans for the last 60 years let alone the problems between animals and humans. Don’t get emotional and think.The difference between animals and humans is our well developed brain.Go back to what Lord bhuddha said about a middle path.

      A part of our country let us say 20% of it should be reserved for animals, and humans goint into that area should be considered as tresspassing and prosecuted.God put us in srilanka and also put animals in sri lanka.humans did not create sri lanka,god did, and therefore they cannot claim sole ownership of sri lanka.

  • 3
    0

    BY the way has anyone wondered what happend to the Airport in the bird sanctuary? Seems like no one is allowed to visit it. and no planes big or small land in it. So what is it doing there?

    • 3
      1

      Thiha,
      That airport is busy, in the EXPORT TRADE!!!
      They are the firt in the export business of EXPORTING PREDATORS!??
      THEY ARE DOING ‘REASONABLY WELL’!!!
      They have accomplished in getting 1000 orders for predators!!!???
      Ingenious men and women are striving to keep it clean and Tidy!!!

    • 0
      0

      Our government cannot spend to sterilizing human beings much less Monkeys.

      I do not know what you are saying. Advanced democracies do not go for ‘Encounter” with poor, vote-less citizens, the wild animals, with the PTA changed into ATA. I am not here to defend their mistakes. But I want to stress that when they do animal population control, they respect animal rights and their wellbeing. They do not use barbaric rituals like Buddhists or Hindus. It was 200 hundred, 300 hundred years ago in the US west, bison were saluted limitless. Now a healthy population of many engendered animals have been brought back. They practice voluntary human birth control too. Other than, Langkang, Sudan, Russia, Afghanistan, and few others, no one has to shed tears for human populations, rich or poor, many of them are taking forward their lives. There are international agreements within governments that how the extradited criminals can be eaten in the arrival country, whether it is with extra curry powder kulamboo or wine choking the brain. Do not tell your low grade UNP infatuation to save the Old Royal Rowdies & cash from the poor monkeys’ brains. All Tamils must remember that many of the Tamils were saved from Junius Richard who proclaimed that the Tamils must be starved so that Sinhalese can be made happy.

  • 2
    1

    Gossip, rumour, lies, non-events, become major local front-page news and are debated endlessly for days by our media. Even today “experts” continue to argue for and against the export of 100,000 rhesus monkey to China even though 48-hours earlier the Chinese embassy categorically denied such claims. It’s false, they said. Doesn’t matter. Today another expert screams out loudly on the pages of a prominent online media that the monkeys are destined to be eaten alive in China.

  • 2
    1

    Amid all the speculation, there is a spoiler news item today in the Daily Mirror that clarifies that the Chinese government had made no request for monkeys.
    The Agriculture Department clarified that it was a request from a private company. That makes the purpose commercial. The monkeys may end up in zoos, parks and/or even restaurants.
    The government should get more information and assurances before any further action.

    • 1
      0

      SJ

      unfortunately their is a thin dividing line between chinese govt and private companies there because of the totalitarian state the chinese have.If we refuse the private company the chinese govt may not help us in any other matters such as for example economic.The chinese govt and private companies are intrincically connected with each other.That is the problem the sri lankan govt has.

  • 0
    0

    How does the Chamber of Commerce certify for the export commodities if they are wild monkeys? Earlier the Elder Brother Prince of the Royal Family imported many domesticated livestock, the cow. They were sick ridden! He pocketed out the commission, and farms paid the bill of Veterinarians. Last time China exported foul Hunu, within the Hunu. (Where is that man who established the non-vegetarian Vegans exist, because the Vegans are vegetables eating vegetarians.). China refused to take back the Hunu ship because when opening the LC, Royals neglected the quality of the Hunu, because only the Modaya in the fields were going to step in. Now Langkang seems to be not worried about China holding in the payment blaming the rapist catches and presidential offices for money parts missing, then IMF is going to pay the export bills, instead of China. Some Slap Party Ministers deny that they are exporting monkeys to China. Because the correct news is that money, boars, Rabbits, and any other animal are going to be exported to America, China, Russia, Germany, Britain, Japan………. and the cabinet papers are being ready to be approved by all ministers. This is the kind of Cheemanai Import/Export Business IMF is teaching Langkang. Unless Langkang has failed 16 times already in this kind of IMF guided Monkey exporting Business what else can happen to Langkang Trading?

  • 0
    0

    its quite amazing how every topic ends up getting to every commentators core issue. lol . For some it is the Rajapaksas . for others it is the Sinhalese. amazing

  • 1
    0

    I am sure that the Monkeys will end up in the plates of the chinese who eating anything that has legs exceptions items similar to tables and chairs.
    It is well known that raw monkey brains saturated in wine is a delicacy for chinese and i was told by an accountant / executive who worked in SIngapore then he had visited restaurants with live monkeys in cages with the head protuding out and the chinese chef cuts off the head and pours wine in and the chinese DINE ON THE RAW MONKEY BRAINS!!!!!

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