No, this Chinese village is not the setting for the next movie in the “Planet of the Apes” franchise.
Hundreds of wild monkeys are now waging war on the hands that used to feed them and are now raiding their homes and farms to feed themselves.
Xianfeng village in Sichuan, China, came up with the idea of boosting tourism by luring in 73 macaques from nearby mountains with food. The idea was inspired by Mount Emei, a famous tourist hotspot in the same province, which is also home to macaques.
The animals quickly settled in, multiplied to 600 in number and attracted thousands of visitors, as was their objective. But two years ago, the man behind the main funding, Zhou Zhenggui, died from a heart attack, and his company collapsed soon after.
The villagers, who were unable to provide food for the monkeys after the death of their main investors, expected the animals to go back to the wild — but the monkeys apparently loved their new home too much.
When they could not get food from the people, the monkeys laid siege to the village, raiding their homes and pilfering their crops.
Xianfeng’s residents did not think their idea through when they brought in the monkeys and now it has come to bite them in the butt.
Macaques are a class 2 national protected species and so the villagers have few options on how to deal with them. Animal authorities were called last year by the desperate villagers and they managed to catch and take away 300 monkeys, but the remaining ones still manage to cause havoc at an alarming rate.
The villagers will now have to learn to co-exist with the animals until they decide to leave on their own. Considering the ample amount of crops and orchards to eat in the village, it’s unlikely the macaques plan to leave any time soon.