Mass of Hungry Monkeys in Thailand Fight for One Banana After Tourism Drops Due to Coronavirus
Amid the growing fear over and rapid spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), people around the world are refraining from traveling abroad.
In Thailand, the drop in visitors has been notably felt by their monkey population, who often rely on tourists to feed them, Viral Press reported.
On Wednesday, the outlet shared a heartbreaking video showing hundreds of hungry monkeys fighting one another over a single banana amid the food shortage.
The footage shows the large pack of primates crossing a road before they all pounce on a single monkey who got hold of a banana. They tussle around for the piece of food before all running off, in search of more food.
”They looked more like wild dogs than monkeys,” one local reportedly told the outlet. “They went crazy for the single piece of food. I’ve never seen them this aggressive. I think the monkeys were very, very hungry. There’s normally a lot of tourists here to feed the monkeys but now there are not as many, because of the coronavirus.”
In recent weeks, a number of countries have been deemed unsafe to visit by the State Department and Centers for Disease Control. The former announced on Sunday that U.S. citizens should also not board cruise ships, regardless of their destination, as they’re particularly susceptible to outbreaks of illness.
A handful of destinations that have been hit hard by the epidemic have recently been locked down completely.
“To keep new cases from entering our shores, we will be suspending all travel from Europe to the United States for the next 30 days,” Trump announced on Wednesday evening.
“These restrictions will be adjusted subject to conditions on the ground. There will be exemptions for Americans who have undergone appropriate screenings,” the president added.
The new rule will go into effect Friday at midnight. Trump added that the restrictions will not apply to the United Kingdom, or to legal permanent residents and immediate family members of U.S. citizens.
Additionally, the World Health Organization announced that COVID-19 has now been officially categorized as a pandemic — and many are left wondering how the virus will affect animals and their pets.
Earlier this year, Anne Kimmerlein, DVM, MPVM, DACVPM — a veterinary epidemiologist for VCA Animal Hospitals — told PEOPLE that “according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there is currently no evidence that dogs or cats can be infected with the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV).”
A recent report by Science Magazine maintains that, but still encourages anyone infected with the virus to limit contact with their pets.
As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments and visit our coronavirus hub.