Thai City Overrun by Hundreds of Hungry Monkeys in Search of Food After Coronavirus Keeps Tourists Away

A city in Thailand was recently overrun by hundreds of monkeys in search of food following a decrease in tourists flocking to the city amid the outbreak of the novel coronavirus.

Lopburi, a city in central Thailand, was terrorized by monkeys who were seen fighting over limited amounts of food. On a normal day in Lopburi, the monkeys would be fed by hundreds of tourists but due to the outbreak of the coronavirus, tourism numbers have seen a drastic decrease, forcing the monkeys to find food on their own.

According to data provided by the World Health Organization (WHO) Thailand has at least 70 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus. While Thailand has fewer cases when compared to other areas, the virus as a whole has severely impacted tourism. According to the Tourism Authority of Thailand, the coronavirus outbreak has sparked a 44 percent decrease in tourism numbers in February compared to February 2019.

In a video posted to Twitter by The Sun, the monkeys can be seen chasing and fighting each other in the middle of the street. In the video, the monkeys get louder as they chase one monkey who seems to have a banana.

Hungry monkeys fight over a banana in Thailand as tourist numbers plummet because of coronavirus

— The Sun (@TheSun) March 12, 2020

An onlooker of the monkey spectacle, Sasaluk Rattanachai, captured videos and recently spoke to The Daily Mail about the incident.

"They looked more like wild dogs than monkeys. They went crazy for a single piece of food. I've never seen them this aggressive," Rattanachai said. "I think the monkeys were very, very hungry. They're normally a lot of tourists here to feed the monkeys but now there are not as many, because of the coronavirus.".

While the city of Lopburi is home to thousands of wild monkeys, this specific fight was believed to be a battle between two rival monkey groups, ones that live in the temple areas and ones that live in the city, according to the Bangkok Post.

A macaque monkey scavenges for food in a bin in New Delhi on March 6, 2020. Prakash Singh/Getty

The video of the monkeys comes just hours after Thailand health officials reported a spike in COVID-19 cases, confirming 11 new ones. According to the Bangkok Post, Thailand's Health Ministry recently reported that the new cases came from a group of friends that were out drinking together last month.

The new cases increase the country's total number of cases to at least 70, marking the largest increase in cases in Thailand. Over 127,000 people have been infected in over 100 countries since the outbreak began in Wuhan, China in December 2019. Over 4,000 people have died worldwide from the illness.