Residents of a housing estate in Sha Tin are far from amused by the antics of wild monkeys in their neighborhood, and hope the government can find more effective ways to tackle the nuisance caused by the animals.
Their daily suffering is vividly illustrated by two photos that have widely circulated on social media.
One photo shows a mess of half-consumed fruit, food items and mangled containers scattered across the kitchen floor of a flat at May Shing Court in Tai Wai.
The other shows the culprits, two monkeys fleeing the scene of the crime through the kitchen window.
Wong Hok-lai, a member of Sha Tin District Council, said residents of the housing estate have long been suffering from the guerrilla-like forays of these mammals, and encounter the same scenes portrayed in the two photos almost every day, hk01.com reports.
The monkeys’ victims, in fact, are not only residents living on the lower floors of the estate but also those residing in flats as high as the 30th floor, Wong said.
One reason the estate is so prone to simian break-ins is the fact that it is so close to the hillside, where the monkeys are believed to come from, he said, adding that the Shing Mun Reservoir at the back of the estate is also their habitat.
Aside from entering the flats of the estate uninvited, the monkeys also engage in roadside robberies. A female resident said while she was walking home, a monkey emerged out of nowhere, snatched the buns in her hand and fled just as fast; it happened to her twice.
Another resident who had the same experience said she now takes another route to her home in order to avoid the intrepid robbers.
She said the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department had set up animal traps on the hillside to catch the monkeys. But the traps soon became useless because the animals must have learned what they were for and avoided them.
Meanwhile, convenience stores at an adjacent estate have also become the monkeys’ favorite targets, especially the various edible products displayed on their shelves.
An employee at a 7-11 store at Mei Lam Estate said the monkeys usually come when there are only a few customers inside and flee as soon as they have grabbed the food items they like. Soy milk, buns and potato chips are their favorites.
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