The Caribbean country of Sint Maarten has authorized the culling of its entire population of vervet monkeys, The Guardian reported. The species has been labeled as ‘a nuisance’ by locals. The plan to execute monkeys came after farmers complained that the monkeys were “plundering their crops and destroying their livelihoods”.
However, critics suggest that rather than killing the animals, spaying or neutering could be a better way to deal with the rising number of monkey species, the leading portal reported.
Nature Foundation St Maarten NGO will implement the government funded plan. The NGO will capture the monkey and euthanize more than 450 monkeys over the next three years.
The Foundation’s manager, Leslie Hickerson, told The Guardian: “When a species establishes a population in an area where it is not native, there are often no predators to control the population size,” adding: “The management of species is an important aspect of keeping the island healthy for those who come after us.”
Vervet monkeys are native to southern and eastern Africa and were introduced to the Caribbean country in the 17th century.
Vervet monkey has gray-spotted gray-brown bodies and black faces lined with white fur.
Dave Du Toit, founder of the Vervet Monkey Foundation in South Africa, has said the culling probably wouldn’t work.
“I think a better approach and more publicly acceptable would be to vasectomize the males and sterilize the females,” he said.
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