The Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plants Conservation has started to release the first batch of 80 monkeys on Koh Payu islet off Phuket coast in its effort to solve the human-monkey conflict.
They are among the total 169 monkeys, all neutered, that were caught from seven places in Phuket where local people complained of troubles caused by these animals.
The seven conflict places are Ban Tharua Bangrong, Ban Yamoo, King Kaew Soi 9, Khao Rang, Khao To Seh, Koh Surin, and Soi Thachin community.
Under the plan, the monkeys will either be returned to their original places or to new places in five islets off Phuket coast.
The five islets are Koh Ngam, Koh Payu, Koh Malee, Koh Phe, and Koh Thanan.
The first batch of 80 monkeys was released to their new home on a 26-rai Koh Payu yesterday morning where park officials have already installed water tanks for the animals.
The Natural and Wildlife Education Centre which was in charge of the resettlement of the monkeys brought 80 of them in cages from Ao Po pier in Paklok for their 30-minute journey on a fishing boat to Koh Payu and released them.
It was reported that the monkeys first examined their new home and later started to run into the forest.
Officials said of the 169 monkeys that have been neutered, 122 are male and 47 are female.
They said the rest 47 have been returned to Koh Sirey, and 42 to King Kaew Soi 9 where they have lived for many years and become a tourist attraction.
Officials have also asked the people not to feed the monkeys now they have returned to their old home.