Monkey business by sex-starved chimps in park
Updated: 2006-03-15 09:20
Rhesus monkeys, especially
sex-starved males, are making trouble and attacking people in a wildlife park in
Guizhou Province. Some citizens say they should be given contraceptives.
A pair of rhesus monkeys are
seen on a public phone booth at the wildlife park
in Guizhou Province. Due to a skewed sex ratio of the
primates, unloved males became aggressive and began to attack
There are far more males than
females at the park in southwest China and the extra "lonely heart" males become
aggressive, attacking people.
The number of injuries from monkey attacks is increasing, and the primates
also have destroyed vegetation and damaged the park's bio-system.
"The park authorities should give the monkeys contraceptive medicine to keep
them from reproducing too fast," said Aunti Ren, an animal lover who feeds
monkeys every day at Qianling Park in the provincial capital of Guiyang.
The 426-hectare park is experiencing a baby boom of rhesus monkeys. The
population has topped 500, compared with 40 in the 1980s, said Bi Jianming, a
Park authorities are soliciting advice from citizens and experts on how to
manage the unruly animals.
Seventy-two tourists were assaulted by rhesus monkeys at the park in 2003,
and park authorities had to pay more than 12,500 yuan (US$1,562) in medical
costs. In 2004, 253 people were injured, costing the park 40,000 yuan.
In 2005, 505 people were hurt by the monkeys, resulting in 84,000 yuan in
Professor Luo Rong at Guizhou Normal University said the ideal park
population is 150 and the ideal sex ratio is two and a half females to one male.
But there are not enough female monkeys at the park to match the males and
these extra, unloved males become aggressive. They attack humans and fight among
themselves, said Luo.
They live on wild fruit on Qianling Mountain for only five months of the year
and for the remaining seven months, they rely on zookeepers and tourists to feed
Each year, several million tourists flock to Qianling Park to watch the
"It's probably the only place in China where you can stay so close to wild
monkeys at an urban park," said Liang Yi, a Beijinger who visits the monkeys on
every trip to Guizhou.