Finance Minister Elbuchel Sadang (3rd from left), through a funding from the National Government, presented a check worth $10,000 to Angaur State Governor Kennosuke Suzuky (3rd from right) last January 22 for the creation of the Macaque Sanctuary Park. (Contributed Photo)
Angaur State has finally found a way to turn their problem with the Macaque infestation, a monkey species that has been considered invasive in the state, into an advantage by establishing a Macaque Sanctuary Park as a tourist attraction.
Monkeys outnumbering the human population living in the state has been considered a menace as it affects the livelihood of the locals, hence, several initiatives had been undertaken by the state government in the past to control its population but these did not prove successful.
Finance Minister Elbuchel Sadang, through a funding from the National Government, presented a check worth $10,000 to Angaur State Governor Kennosuke Suzuky last January 22 for the creation of the Macaque Sanctuary Park, according to the press statement furnished to the media.
“The Angaur Government will be establishing a nature reserve park on the northwestern part of the island that will serve as a sanctuary for the monkeys. The sanctuary is aimed to be a park where tourists and locals can experience the monkeys firsthand,” the press statement reads.
“This is the only place in the region that has monkeys, not many people, especially tourists know that. Also, luring the monkeys to a specific area on the island, will help keep them away from the community and the villages, away from crops – which is our biggest concern,” Governor Suzuky was quoted in saying.
During the handover of the check to the Governor at the State Liason Office in Malakal, Minister Sadang said that the initiative is “an innovative idea in addressing our country’s invasive species management and we wish it all the success.”
“The national government looks forward to its initial phase and we also look forward to the next phase of development and to see it through with the State of Angaur,” Minister Sadang said.
According to the press statement, the funding for the sanctuary was determined last December during Governor Suzuky’s meeting with President Tommy Remengesau, Jr.
It was during the same meeting when Governor Suzuky proposed the idea to the President and requested that the funds for controlling the monkey population should be used instead in developing the sanctuary park.
The population of monkeys in Palau’s Angaur State is unique since it is the only place in the Micronesian region where the animal lives. The origin of these monkeys can be traced back 100 years ago when the species where brought to the island through foreign contact. (Rhealyn C. Pojas)