Heartbreaking scenes show hungry monkeys eating food from bins as fewer tourists visit the site due to Covid-19 in Thailand.
The primates were seen eating scraps of food from garbage bags scattered on the road in the normally busy Chonburi province on Monday (Jan 11).
They used to enjoy snacks from tourists but travel bans in place since last March have stopped international tourism. The region has also been under a lockdown due to the second wave of infections – killing any chance of domestic tourism.
Nipaporn Yantapan, 35, who sells monkey food to tourists, said the area used to be buzzing with visitors before the pandemic.
She said: ‘We used to have a lot of people visiting here, but it became quiet in the past months. The monkeys are starving.’
The vendor added that aside from the monkeys, residents who rely to tourists for their livelihood were also suffering.
She said: ‘Many vendors like me were not able to sustain themselves since bananas can only stay fresh for up to three days before they go to waste.
‘We continue selling them even with fewer tourists hoping to make ends meet, but most of our products are thrown out.’
Nipaporn now makes 300 Baht (around 10USD) per week – a minuscule amount compared to her income before the pandemic.
She added: ‘I hope that more people will come to visit the site. The monkeys are getting hungry and many vendors had to quit selling food since they are not making a profit.’