With the COVID-19 outbreak stretching to nearly all corners of the Earth, global tourism has been brought to a near standstill. But it isn’t just local businesses that are feeling the effects of the missing tourists.
Video shared by the Daily Caller on Tuesday shows monkeys who once depended on tourists to feed them fighting over food in the empty streets of Thailand. The “food shortage” has caused all-out brawls between the animals that some local residents have called the worst they’ve ever seen.
The clip, shown below, may be disturbing to some.
Fighting in the streets
The video shows hundreds of monkeys pouring onto the streets of Thailand in search of food, with melees erupting whenever anything edible is found. Some commenters noted that the animals appeared to be working together in gangs.
Thai news outlet Khaosod English reports that the footage was shot in the city of Lopburi by Sasaluk Rattanachai, a 28-year-old paint salesman who lives in the area.
“It’s the summer so usually we see a lot of tourists, but now because of the outbreak there’s so few that the markets are very quiet,” Sasaluk told the outlet. “Not enough tourists come to leave food for the monkeys at Prang Sam Yod.”
It’s a monkey’s world
While monkey fights aren’t unknown in the area, residents told Khaosod English that these are among the worst clashes they have ever witnessed.
“I haven’t seen a fight like this for many years that I can’t remember. Normally, the fights involve five to 10 monkeys,” Byo Um-in, a motorcycle taxi driver, remarked.
Railway worker Pattakorn Witchaplakorn told the outlet that the animals have taken over the area, calling it “the kingdom of the city monkeys.”
Prior to the coronavirus outbreak, concern arose that the monkeys were eating too much rather than too little, with examples of obesity being documented, according to Khaosod English. Now, locals are reportedly bringing the animals food in an effort to quell the conflict.
But monkeys aren’t the only Thai animals to fall on hard times thanks to the coronavirus; The New York Times reports that deer are no longer receiving handouts either. Meanwhile, an article from Yahoo! News warns that elephants in the city of Chiang Mai could starve without people to support them.