A group of wild monkeys broke into a supermarket and made off with bananas in a bizarre heist in Thailand.
The monkeys strayed from their normal foraging grounds into a nearby forest to hit the 7-11 and grab as many bananas as they could. Video of the incident shows the monkeys ransacking plastic crates after pulling back the covers, grabbing food and then running away in circles.
When shop workers try to shoo the monkeys away, the monkeys simply sit on the nearby wires out of reach.
An onlooker told Viral Press that the monkeys have tried to “enter the shop when the staff can’t close the entrance fast enough” and that the monkeys have even stolen food from tourists’ hands.
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“Thankfully, they haven’t gone over the island yet,” he said, referring to the island of Koh Phi Phi, where the video was shot and where many of the monkey incidents take place.
Thailand has struggled with a small outbreak of feral monkeys in cities, most commonly of the macaque variety. These monkeys are about two feet tall and weigh only 15 pounds, but they are aggressive and travel in groups.
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The monkeys have become more daring in recent years, hunting people and taking whatever food they can get their hands on. They can also cause bodily harm that can lead to hospitalization, according to Trip Savvy.
On the mainland, residents of the town of Lopburi found themselves in the middle of a battle between hundreds of monkeys in two rival “gangs” that have started massive street brawls, sometimes over food, sometimes over territory: The monkeys in March 2020 fought over a single banana, while in 2021 monkeys argued over the right to squat in a Buddhist temple, Metro reported.
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Prolonged and extensive lockdowns in the country may have allowed the monkeys to thrive, as well as giving them the confidence and comfort to roam freely in cities, a government veterinarian said, explaining that the monkeys were used to being fed by tourists before the pandemic .
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“With the departure of tourists, they have been more aggressive,” Supakarn Kaewchot said in 2021. “They are breaking into buildings and forcing people out of their homes.”
More recently, the government has tried to manage the population by creating monkey sanctuaries, mass sterilization programs, habitat relocation, and public education on how to handle the animals.