Taroko National Park is increasing efforts to stop visitors feeding the local macaques. With more tourists giving the wild monkeys food scraps, macaques are becoming more aggressive in the area. Some have been found repeatedly entering stores and stealing food. Park rangers and police warn that getting caught feeding the monkeys is subject to heavy fines.

A macaque flies into frame, sneaking into the post office and up on the counter in an instant. Disappointed to find no food, it scampers away as fast as it came.

A police officer heads to the front of a supermarket to check there are no macaques lurking outside. In recent years, groups of monkeys have frequently congregated outside supermarket doors, rushing inside when they hear the door open, searching for food.

Voice of Sun Li-chu

Taroko National Park administration

Macaques are very smart. Actually, they know straight away. Human food is more delicious than natural food. So they may want to get close to tourists.

Some visitors to the National Park see the cute little monkeys and give them some of their food. But this makes the animals lose their inhibitions and can cause them to start stealing food or to become aggressive. Taroko National Park administration says that particularly boisterous monkeys will be moved to a different location, following scholars’ advice.

Voice of Sun Li-chu

Taroko National Park administration

When we go over, we observe which male macaque is leading the thefts. Then we catch him in a basket and take him elsewhere and release him into the wild.

Shih Wei-cheng

Seventh Special Police Corps

Do not feed the animals. If we discover culprits, our officers will press for the highest fine of NT$3,000 for a violation of Article 13 of the National Park Act.

Recently, Taroko National Park has upped its efforts to educate visitors. Feed the monkeys and you face punishment. The message is: admire the creatures from a distance, and let them stay wild.