On March 11, inhabitants of Lopburi, Thailand, witnessed something surreal. Hundreds of monkeys invaded the city centre and fought each other for scraps of food.
A remake of "Planet of the Apes"
Several videos and photos were shared on social media and almost immediately went viral. A man named Sasaluk Rattanachai shared several of them on his Facebook account.
As you can see in these two videos, monkeys pretty much invaded downtown Lopburi. Several terrified residents fled the scene. Others, like Sasaluk Rattanachai, appeared to be amused by this remake of "Planet of the Apes".
Are monkeys starving because of COVID-19?
The main tourist attraction in Lopburi is the groups of thousands of monkeys you can see there. Some locals even say that they are divided into several "rival gangs": the temple monkeys and the city monkeys.
According to many residents of Lopburi, these monkeys gathered in the city centre and fought each other because of the coronavirus. They explain that because of the current pandemic, fewer and fewer tourists are coming in.
And tourists usually feed monkeys all the time. No longer having access to this food, the hungry monkeys, therefore, went around town looking for something to eat, which eventually gave rise to these rather impressive battles.
It's a plausible theory, although it is difficult to understand exactly what caused this chaos. Others believe it's because of the unbearable heat, which makes them angry.