Call for animal sanctuary
OCTOBER 2, 2004 – Monkeys can be seen in large numbers at areas bordering bush and forests, which were formerly their natural habitat but now occupied by house owners who complain that the animals have become a nuisance to them and called for the setting up of a sanctuary for monkeys.
The relevant authority is urged to look into the possibility of setting up a sanctuary for monkeys, which had lost their natural habitat and cause trouble to house owners. A sanctuary may also prove conducive to the local eco-tourism industry, said the house owners.
House occupants, in places such as Kg Rimba and Chempaka Park, said monkeys ransacked their garbage bins in search of food, causing rubbish to be strewn all over the place. They usually ransacked the rubbish bins in the morning after the house occupants left their dwellings.
They said the creature has been causing problems to them and thus called for action to be taken to catch and transfer the animals to a sanctuary.
A monkey who wandered in to look for food
“They monkeys caused rubbish to be scattered all over the place as they ransacked and pierced open plastic bags.
“I collect the strewn rubbish every evening only to find them scattered again the next morning,” said a resident of Chempaka Park.
They entered houses and grabbed food and eggs. They also pulled down clothes hanged in the sun, said a resident of Kg Rimba.
At the terrace houses in Chempaka, the monkeys climbed the rooftop and television aerials, causing damages. The house owners said the creatures looked sweet enough as they swung from tree to tree until they entered open accommodation to steal food and fruits.
Some sections of the population called for a reduction on the number of monkeys not amounting to total eradication as they have become a nuisance.
Monkeys now face a grave threat to their survival in the face of deforestation. However, some species are able to survive in areas that have been selectively cleared for development but very few can survive if the forest is entirely removed.
Monkeys are normally active during the day, moving frequently in bands in search of vegetation, birds’ eggs, smaller animals or insects to eat. The creatures are highly social animals and are often organised in clans headed by an old male.
In rainforests like Brunei Darussalam, where food is abundant, monkeys often stay in the same area all year round. But in drier habitats, they move around, travelling some 18 kilometres a day. – Rosli Abidin Yahya