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Hungry Thai Monkeys Raid Villages

February 9, 1999

BANGKOK, Thailand (AP) _ Hundreds of wild monkeys have been raiding villages in northeastern Thailand for food after local governments ran out of money to feed them.

``They take whatever they can feed on, from sticky rice to bananas in the backyard,″ Suchitra Chanteam, an official from the Si Salai district 270 miles northeast of Bangkok, said Tuesday.

An estimated 2,000 wild monkeys live in forests around the villages. They began to go hungry several months ago after the villages stopped feeding them because they ran out of food and received no new money for provisions.

The local government had allocated $275 a year to feed the monkeys because the forests don’t provide enough food, said Suchitra.

She said the villagers are hoping new funds will be approved soon so that the monkeys will not hang around in their yards and on their roofs.

``They can bite if you resist,″ she said.

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