A monkey sugar-rush sparked a huge invasion of hyper-sexual and brutally violent creatures during a popular festival in the Far East, with locals having to flee
A city in Thailand has been forced to go into a virtual lockdown after tourists accidentally boosted monkey libidos with sugary sweets and drinks.
The rampaging army of macaques are thought to have taken so much sugar given to them by tourists at an annual festival that it turned them into sex-crazed beasts that became factionalised and violent, with sporadic battles breaking out for the gangs to take supremacy on the city’s streets.
The shocking invasion resulted in business owners on the streets of Lopburi, being forced to close indefinitely, while residents have had to flee or stay indoors and barricade their homes. The city has now been completely overrun by some 3,500 monkeys, with certain parts deemed complete no-go zones due to ongoing gang warfare.
According to The Sun, the monkeys had been a major tourist attraction and became so much so that an annual Monkey Buffet Festival was introduced at the Phra Prang Sam Yot temple in 1989. For decades, holidaymakers have flocked to the city to watch the monkeys gorge themselves on fruit and vegetables. At each festival, the monkeys fill their bellies with two tonnes of food while being watched by as many as 100,000 spectators.
However, while the show has become world famous, it is also thought to have sparked a population boom among the animals and Lopburi ran into a host of issues when the Covid-19 pandemic ended the event. This, in turn, meant that without the huge amount of food they would normally expect to keep them placid, the monkeys began attacking locals.
In a bid to stave of these attacks, people started to give them distinctly unhealthy junk food, with major sugar rushes being fuelled by sweets, soft drinks, fruit drinks, chocolate, and cereal. The result was wholly predictable, however, and it made the creatures even more violent, as sugary foods are known to increase monkeys’ productivity and stimulate them to reproduce more.
While the spectacle is also about honouring the traditional Lopburi belief that monkeys are disciples of protective spirit Jao Paw Phra Kan, the thousands of animals are now so invigorated that they’re stealing cars and causing chaos on the roads. One local, Kuljira Taechawattanawanna, told AFP: “We live in a cage but the monkeys live outside.” And a market vendor, Somsaksri Janhon, told the Guardian: “The monkeys are hungrier and more aggressive than before. They take anything they can. The comb, the mirror. If I leave the food unattended, they steal the food as well.”
Thailand’s Department of National Parks has launched a sterilisation programme to try and regain control of the wild monkeys. Officials successfully sterilised several hundred monkeys in 2020 by luring them into cages with large fruits.