KUALA LUMPUR: Troops of wild monkeys are invading human homes and harassing people as a result of deforestation, the Dewan Rakyat was told today.
Noting that the primates have lost their fear of humans and become real pests, Datuk Seri Irmohizam Ibrahim (BN-Kuala Selangor) said they are causing anxiety to residents in his constituency, notably in Ijok and Bukit Melawati, with their aggressive behavior.
He said it is also worrying that the monkeys, a familiar sight for Malaysians but not always welcome, have been breeding at a fast pace.
“Some of the female monkeys gave birth to more than seven infants.
“Residents in affected areas have complained that the infants have been sleeping in human homes,” he said during the debate on the 2018 Budget at the committee stage for the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry.
Irmohizam said the monkeys move into housing areas as their forest habitat are dwindling.
He urged the Wildlife and National Parks Department (Perhilitan) to help look into the matter.
Perhilitan had set up traps, including metal cages, and placed food in them to lure monkeys which invade human dwellings.
The Wildlife Department's move has invited the ire of animal lovers.
Perhilitan had also advised the public to avoid feeding monkeys as they could become aggressive.
The department warned that monkeys are carriers of zoonotic diseases (diseases that can be transferred from animals to humans), and therefore one needs to take preventive measures by avoiding the animals.