August 19, 2016

Over 2,000 monkeys descend on Mandalay monastery

Monkeys are seen at Alaygu Monastery in Yetakhun mountain in Mandalay.
Monkeys are seen at Alaygu Monastery in Yetakhun mountain in Mandalay.

OVER two thousands red monkeys, which inhabit the mountains of Shan State, have descended en masse to the Alaygu monastery, located on the Yetakhun mountain in Mandalay’s Patheingyi township, according monastery abbot U Thuriya.
The monastery first received three primate visitors back in 2013, but word must have spread of the monastery’s favourable living conditions because this March saw thousands descend upon the building of religious worship, with the total number of primates within the monastery compound now totalling over two thousand, it is known.
“Three arrived at the beginning. But numbers slowly increased after they realized [the monastery] was a good source of food. Visiting pilgrims feed the groups of monkeys with bananas and watermelon. They’ve become tame and used to the presence of humans as a result. They live in groups on the top of the mountain on the tiers of the monastery and at the base of mountain.” added abbot U Thuriya.
It is known the abbot of the Alaygu monastery looks after the monkeys which have come down from surrounding mountains to feed on fruits treated to them by visiting pilgrims and worshippers.
“The monkeys are very clever things, they can eat rice grains by pealing of the skin. The have become very used to humans and pose no danger to them anymore. They know when someone is going to feed them, arriving in groups. One group is made up of about 600 monkeys. Some have been relocated to Yankin mountain because there are so many of them.” said Ko Win Ko, a bamboo cutter from Yetakhun mountain.
The arrival of the primates to Alaygu monastery augmented the numbers of visitors who come to feed and take photos of the monkeys. The primates also attract local.


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