A tourism plan involving monkeys that was drawn up more than a decade ago has turned into a living nightmare for the locals of Xianfeng village in Sichuan, China.
According to CCTV News, the villagers wanted to boost their local economy and therefore came up with the idea of using wild macaque monkeys to attract tourists. Apparently, they had been inspired by Emei Mountain, which is a famous tourist spot populated by wild macaques.
So in 2003, the villagers spent a total of 48 days transporting 73 apes from nearby mountains and setting up home for them in Xianfeng.
Initially, the plan took off and brought in a wave of visitors from around the country, who were eager to get up close and personal with the monkeys. Soon, investors also began to show interest and funded the park for the monkeys to reside in.
In 2014, Xianfeng village’s fortunes took a turn for the worse when main investor Zhou Zhenggu passed away, and the park was forced to shut down due to poor management and lack of funding.
Today, Xianfeng is overrun with 600 monkeys who have been left to fend for themselves. Unlike Emei Mountain where the primates live in the wild and are independent, Xianfeng’s monkeys had grown used to being bred in captivity.
The villagers are now being terrorised by the monkeys who have taken to destroying crops and homes, as well as starting fights among themselves.
So far, only half of the Xianfeng monkeys have been recaptured and sent back to live in the wild. Experts said the remaining half are determined to stay and the villagers will have to learn to co-exist with the apes, until they leave on their own accord.