TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Visitors, especially those on scooters, should beware of Formosan rock monkeys in the Tataka area, as they have learned to steal food and open vehicle compartments, said the Yushan National Park Headquarters.
The headquarters wrote in a Facebook post that park volunteers have reported increasingly sophisticated behavior from the local monkey population. While visitors in cars are able to close windows and doors when arriving in areas frequented by monkeys, those on scooters often keep food items hanging exposed upfront, while some riders immediately flip open their seats after parking to go through things stored underneath.
Rock monkeys “have gradually become interested in food placed on footboards or stored under scooter seats that can be easily accessed by flipping the seat open. By watching riders operate a few times, they practice and copy the technique,” wrote the headquarters.
Monkeys searching scooters for food in Yushan National Park's Tataka area. (Facebook, Yushan National Park Headquarters photo)
Additionally, the monkeys are currently learning to open backpacks secured with zippers. The park called on visitors to make sure to pull zipper heads to the very bottom as well as to keep their backpacks on them at all times to prevent the monkeys getting into them.
The headquarters asked visitors not to feed wild animals, as “the monkeys becoming so smart and irritating is definitely the result of many people’s carelessness.” Visitors should also make sure to keep pets on a leash to avoid more conflicts with monkeys.
In a comment under the post, the park added, “Formosan rock monkeys have the intelligence of a three- to four-year-old child, and once they get used to the connection between humans and food, they can hardly shirk the habit for life. Only by being constantly cautious and careful and by not giving monkeys the chance to get human food will there eventually be a chance to make things better.”
Monkey takes drink from cup stolen from police car. (Facebook, Yushan National Park Headquarters photo)
Monkey munches on stolen instant noodles. (Facebook, Yushan National Park Headquarters photo)