Another punkey problem arises. This time in Malaysia area of Damansara Damai (Occupied Territory). Seems they are getting bolder and bolder. From The Star Online

SOME find them cute, but monkeys in an urban neighborhood translates to nuisance, especially when clothes or food go missing.

‘In the beginning they were pretty harmless, but then they started getting unruly, snatching clothes being dried and stealing food from the house,” said Azizah Othman, one of the residents in Damansara Damai, the area that’s playing “host” to the monkeys.

Azimah said initially she suspected thieves of stealing her clothes but one day she returned home to find few of the monkeys playing with the clothes hung on the clothesline.

They are gathering disguises! I’m sure of it!!!

“I tried to chase them but they refused to budge,” she said, adding that the animals even scared her three-year-old daughter and tried to steal the food from her hand.

Another resident Zuraidah Muhammad complained of similar problems and recalled few harrowing experiences.

“Once when I was jogging at the park, a group of monkey came after my water bottle. I was frightened and it was getting dark, too, I had no choice but to throw the bottle away,” said Zuraidah, who since that incident had made it a point never to go to the park alone.

Sounds like Central Park in the 80’s!

While some view them as a menace, there were a few residents who saw no harm in feeding these animals. Some of them had been feeding them regularly.

“There is nothing wrong in feeding them as I am just giving them some leftovers,” said Aminah Ramlan, who works at a nearby restaurant.

Occasionally other people, including children were seen stopping by to feed the monkeys.

However, Selangor Department of Wildlife and National Parks director Rahmat Topani discouraged people from doing so.

He said feeding these monkeys would only encourage them to flock to the area for food and it would be harder to control their numbers then.

“We have about 200,000 monkeys in the state, both in the wild and urban parks.

“With rapid development in the urban area, these monkeys are often displaced and have no choice but to venture into residential areas,” said Rahmat.

He said about 6,000 monkeys had been classified as a menace to city dwellers.

He added that this year alone they received numerous complaints from residents, especially those staying in Petaling Jaya, Shah Alam and part of Klang.

Some complained of monkeys stealing food, entering houses and even attacking people.

Rahmat said upon receiving a call from residents they would determine the number of monkeys involved and the level of threat.

“If it involves a large number and poses a danger to people then we would send our officers to trap the monkeys.

“But most importantly, please do not feed them,” he said.

He said the public should not feed the monkeys in the park because it would make them bolder and eventually friendlier towards people. However, sometimes such friendliness could turn into a confrontation, said Rahmat.

He advised those who have problem with such wild animals not to take the matters into their own hand but to report to the department.

He said the department could be reached via phone 03-5519 3915/ 03-5519 0817/ 03-5510 6328, or go to the office located in Jalan Lanar 8/15, Seksyen 8, Shah Alam, Selangor. Alternatively you can e-mail at http://www.wildlife.gov.my/webpagev4_en/mainmenu.html.

Stealing clothes, attacking joggers…when will the madness end?

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