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Hungry monkeys invade Thai village

Bangkok (dpa) - Hungry monkeys have invaded a village in northeastern Thailand, breaking into homes, stealing food and biting the village headman, provincial officials said Monday.

Virat Boontod, a provincial administration official in Yasothon province, said about 500 pig-tailed monkeys had been making frequent raids on Taohai village, 430 kilometres northeast of Bangkok, because there was not enough food in the jungle during the current dry season.

He said the monkeys managed to get inside many homes through windows or by scratching holes in villagers' roofs.

;They steal chicken and duck eggs and any other food they can find,'' Virat said in a telephone interview. ;Now the villagers are getting fed up with the monkeys. Some of them are using slingshots to drive them away.''

He said one big domesticated monkey was pressed into service to guard an entrance to the village, but it was outnumbered by the simian invaders, who found other ways in.

Last week the village's leader was bitten in the thigh by one of the invaders and had to get rabies shots.

;The hungry monkeys get some food from local (Buddhist) temples, but it's not enough,'' Virat said. ;We're going to ask for food donations to feed them and we'll ask the district administration to provide a budget for them.''

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