Formosan macaques are legally protected in Taiwan, so the monkeys feel free to pester local farmers. In Taitung County, the owner of a poultry farm says groups of the monkeys play pranks on his chickens, like plucking out their feathers or placing the hens on branches high up in trees.
A farmer who raises boars says they tease them by riding on their backs like cowboys. A goat rancher says one of them is trying to have sex with his female goats. He bought six dogs, but the monkey tamed them within ten minutes. It stood out of the reach of the dogs, which were kept on long leashes, then slapped them in the face when they got tired of barking at him. Eventually the dogs became afraid of the monkey, so the farmer finally had to have it captured with an anesthetic dart gun.
In Wulu and Litao, farmers grow cabbages and green peppers, but they’re having trouble harvesting any, because the monkeys always get there first, by crawling through the irrigation pipes to get to the fields.
It’s almost as if the monkeys know they’re protected by law. Farmers have resorted to setting off firecrackers and playing tape recordings of gun shots. They should try playing loud rock and roll?it worked when we were trying to flush out that Panamanian dictator.
Maybe they need to sit down and have a talk with these little guys.
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