TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A photo of a Formosan rock macaque appearing to burn the midnight oil in a cubicle at a Kaohsiung university went viral after being posted on social media Thursday (Feb. 4).
Facebook user Morgan Chang posted a photo of the Taiwanese macaque appearing to be hunched over at his desk, concentrating intently on his work. Chang noted that all schools are on winter vacation and that when he stopped by the office of the National Sun Yat-sen University (NSYSU) Institute of Communications Engineering, he spotted the monkey sitting in a corner cubicle "handling official business."
In response to the incident, NSYSU Senior Vice President Huang I-yu (黃義佑) said there are thousands of macaques nearby and that he suspects the doors or windows had not been properly locked. They often wander onto the campus in search of food for winter and sometimes commit "gang robberies," reported Liberty Times.
For example, one will jump onto a student or faculty member to distract them, while another monkey will seize any food the person is holding, such as takeout breakfast, said Huang. He said that when he was serving as the vice president of the Office of General Affairs, he oversaw the design and manufacture of screens designed to prevent the monkeys from breaking into windows.
He said the screens are made of stainless steel mesh. The locks cannot be opened from the outside and have been found to be effective in keeping the primates out of dormitories.
Secretary-general of the Taiwan Macaque Coexistence Promotion, Lin Mei-yin (林美吟) pointed out that the campus had been built in the monkeys' natural habitat, reported TVBS. Therefore, it is the humans who are invading their space, not the other way around.
The Kaohsiung City Government emphasized that the macaques are protected animals. If a person is found to have abused them, they could face a fine of between NT$5,000 (US$178) and NT$10,000 for violating the city's wildlife protection regulations.