Like a scene from the sci-fi thriller The Planet of the Apes, villagers in the city of Xianfeng (Sichuan, China) are being accosted daily by hundreds of wild monkeys. Attempts to recapture the monkeys for transport out of the city have failed leaving villagers seeking a way to co-exist with their new unfriendly neighbors.
“The villagers are now being terrorized by the monkeys who have taken to destroying crops and homes as well as starting fights among themselves.”
In 2003, the village transported 70 macaque monkeys from nearby mountains into the city figuring the idea of monkeys running amok would attract tourists – and it did. Xianfeng became a tourist magnet and the villagers made lots of money from outsiders who travelled to the city to watch the little critters skitter about the town. Then the program’s main investor, Zhou Zhenggu died.
After Zhenguu’s death, the tourism company failed, and the monkey park found itself without any management or guidance. Things quickly spun out of control as the wild monkeys bred in the streets, expanding their numbers and overflowing into the town’s residential areas. Today the town is overrun by several hundred hungry macaque monkeys with no solution in sight.