Veterinarians have found a rare albino macaque while carrying out a campaign to sterilise macaques in Phetchaburi.
On February 8, Mr. Wanchai Singto, Director of Wildlife Conservation Division Conservation Region Administration Office 3, Phetchaburi Branch, accompanied officials from the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine to carry out the sterilisation in an effort to bring the town’s growing macaque population under control.
During the sterilisation, vets discovered a female albino macaque which they estimate is around 6 years old.
The macaque was one of fifty who are said to live on the mountain near the Khao Phrom Cha-ngae Temple in Ban Lat.
Phra Ram Passawo, the abbot at the temple, said monks had dubbed the albino macaque Chao Phueak.
Officials said an albino macaque can be worth upwards of one million baht on the black market.
“I’ve given orders for all monks and local villagers to assist in the care of Chao Phueak, said Phra Ram.
However, Phra Ram said Chao Phueak would be difficult to catch as she rarely comes down from the mountain.
“There used to be a few albino macaques on the mountain, but now there is only one”, Phra Ram said.
He explained that the offspring from Chao Phueak had not been albino.
Officials said they would take blood samples from Chao Phueak to test for DNA or genetic abnormalities.
After being sterilised the 50 macaques, including Chao Phueak, were returned to the mountain near the Khao Phrom Cha-ngae Temple.