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Monkey ‘gang war’ erupts over a single banana in coronavirus-hit Thailand

Monkeys were filmed brawling over a banana in Thailand's Lopburi, where the coronavirus has led to a sharp fall in the number of tourists.

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New Delhi: A video that shows hundreds of hungry monkeys fighting over a single banana in Thailand has gone viral with the swiftly spreading coronavirus causing a huge fall in the number of tourists who feed them.

The incident took place earlier this week (11 March) when hordes of monkeys were filmed brawling over the banana in central Thailand’s Lopburi area. The primates are usually well fed by tourists and enough visitors storm the area to feed their hunger on a “daily basis“.

An onlooker named Sasaluk Rattanachai had posted videos of the fight on Facebook.

“They looked more like wild dogs than monkeys. They went crazy for the single piece of food. I’ve never seen them this aggressive,” Rattanachai remarked about the incident.

“I think the monkeys were very, very hungry. There’s normally a lot of tourists here to feed the monkeys but now there are not as many, because of the coronavirus,” added Rattanachai.

The clip shows a few monkeys running for the banana at first. The chase soon turns ferocious after a large group of primates join in and begin battling each other for the single piece of banana.

The video went viral even as Thailand reported 11 new coronavirus cases Thursday, bringing the total number to 70 in the country. The deadly virus has so far killed over 4,000 and affected more than 118,000 people globally. It has spread to six continents and 114 countries.

Monkey gang wars

The brawl over the banana had reportedly turned into a ‘turf war’ between two rival groups of monkeys.

According to a report in the Bangkok Post, thousands of monkeys inhabit Lopburi area where the primates are divided into two gangs. Each monkey has to “swear allegiance” to one of the two gangs — temple and city monkeys.

In a move typical to gang-wars in the criminal underworld, the temple monkeys dominate areas around Phra Prang Sam Yod and city primates operate around the municipality area of Lopburi. The two zones are kept away from each other by the northern train track.

The report also maintains that these two gangs normally don’t “encroach on one another’s territories”.

Several other onlookers have also come up with interesting theories to justify this ‘turf war’.

While locals blamed the rising temperatures for the fight, a motorcyclist named Biew Um-in claimed that he had witnessed the “leader” of the temple gang lead members into an area which is usually controlled by the city gang.

Meanwhile, a Thai news TV channel also made an infographic detailing the gang membership and numbers of monkeys to better explain the turf war.

Also read: Amid coronavirus panic, sports ministry hints at IPL being held behind closed doors


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