If there's one thing that definitely annoys most people, it's when others are monkeying around. Even if they're actually monkeys. And that's what's been happening in the Beauty World area as of late. Because yes, atas people get swarmed by monkeys too. In particular, it seems like monkeys have been disrupting humans' daily lives at Beauty World due to the overhead bridge between the fourth floor of Beauty World Centre and Rifle Range Nature Park, the latter of which was opened in November last year. The overhead bridge was built to increase the number of trails available for nearby residents' convenience but has since been used by the monkeys to travel from the nature park to the shopping centre. Of course, they have made the overhead bridge their "playground" as well, meaning that any human beings who want to use the overhead bridge as well probably need more courage than I'll ever be able to have. Those in the area have also spotted monkeys eating food from "unknown sources" along the overhead bridge. Employees' Recounts When speaking to Lianhe Zaobao, several individuals working at Beauty World Centre indicated that they have seen monkeys creating trouble in the area. Zhao Dan (Hanyu pinyin), a massage therapist working at Yi Xin TCM Medical Clinic, said that monkeys have appeared in the area almost every day since the end of 2022. Ms Zhao, who has been working at her current workplace for over a year, claimed that they appear two to three times a day, usually in the afternoon or evening. She added that the monkeys usually come in large groups of over ten and reach the clinic's back door through the overhead bridge. Ms Zhao also revealed that those working at Yi Xin TCM Medical Clinic, which is located on the fourth floor of Beauty World Centre, have the habit of growing their own vegetables and fruits. However, they have been hesitant to plant more fruits and vegetables lately as the monkeys tend to wreak havoc whenever they are around the crops. Apart from plucking the sweet potatoes and honeydew melons to eat, the monkeys tend to throw the unripe fruits on the ground and make a mess of the surroundings by smearing soil all over the place. Apart from Ms Zhao, a stallholder selling Nonya Kuih on the same floor named Mr Lai (Hanyu pinyin) pointed out that there are no glass doors or barriers between the shopping mall and the overhead bridge. As such, monkeys can directly enter the shopping mall and go straight to places that sell food, especially the food centre on the fourth floor. Mr Lai said that his stall has since prepared spray bottles to spray the monkeys with water whenever they appear near the stall. As for other stallholders, some wave their stools and stomp their feet vigorously on the floor to create noise and scare the monkeys away. However, Mr Lai added that one of the larger-sized monkeys is a "regular visitor" and will glare at people fiercely if people shout at him. Despite this, stallholders try to chase the monkeys away within ten seconds as the monkeys might affect the hygiene of the food served. Residents' Response And it's not just stores at Beauty World Centre that have had to deal with the groups of monkeys in the area; even residents living a few streets away have been plagued with the same problem. A resident living at Hindhede Place, a landed housing estate next to Rifle Range Nature Park, revealed that the monkeys used to only appear in more secluded areas like the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve. They also only appeared near Hindhede Place around two to three times a week in the past. However, they have started appearing near residential areas and shopping malls more frequently due to the increase in the construction of trails. Apart from that, the resident also pointed out something odd about the situation: In the past, only around three to four groups of monkeys were seen, but that number has increased to five or six nowadays. In recent times, the resident has also observed an increase in young monkeys spotted in the area. Additionally, residents living in areas further away from the overhead bridge have also noticed a rise in monkey sightings near their homes. Zeng Yanling (Hanyu pinyin), a resident living in a condominium complex along Chun Tin Road, told Zaobao that she started seeing monkeys appear near her home in December 2022. Since then, they have appeared in the area more frequently, with around a dozen appearing together every day. They appear at different times each day and stay in the area for around half an hour. Some People Feed the Monkeys Ms Zeng also revealed that she once saw someone feeding the monkeys. She then said that she and her family are extremely worried that such actions might bring about dire consequences, such as monkeys developing the habit of snatching people's food. However, Mr Zeng added that the monkeys in the area generally do not attack people as long as they are not provoked and that the monkeys and human beings can "coexist peacefully" in the area. According to her, residents in the area will also remind each other to close their windows in order to prevent monkeys from entering their homes. Expert's Opinion: Beauty World Has "Fixed Food Source" When interviewed by Zaobao, Dr Andie Ang, President of Jane Goodall Institute Singapore and Research Scientist at Mandai Nature, mentioned that there are two main reasons why monkeys move to different environments. The two are finding food and finding a mate, and it's pretty clear that the latter isn't happening at Beauty World Centre. Hence, she said that the monkeys have most likely chosen to travel to Beauty World Centre due to the food resources there. When she visited Beauty World Centre, she noticed that there were many "fixed" food sources for the monkeys to indulge in there. These food sources included unattended food delivery orders placed outside stalls and leftover food thrown into trash bags or rubbish bins. Dr Ang explained that long-tailed macaques, the monkeys most often seen in Singapore, eat fruits, vegetables, insects and more. They also "do not care much" about the type of food they eat. However, once they realise where they can find food easily, they will return to the same place repeatedly. Apart from that, she emphasised that these monkeys' growth will be "limited" if they only receive their food from nature. On the other hand, an increase in the amount of food consumed will lead to a rise in the number of monkeys, which in turn will cause disruption to residents' lives. Regarding this, Jocelyn Chng, the Wildlife Management Executive at the Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (ACRES), suggested that food stall stallholders should refrain from leaving food outside their stalls unattended. All trash cans around the Beauty World Mass Rapid Transport (MRT) station should be replaced with monkey-proof trash cans to prevent monkeys from easily obtaining food as well. Beyond that, she also reminded the public to always remember not to feed monkeys. 50 Reports of Monkeys Received Since 2022, Preventive Measures Have Been Taken When speaking to Zaobao, Dr Adrian Loo, the Group Director of Wildlife Management at the National Parks Board (NParks), revealed that NParks has received 50 reports of long-tail macaques appearing near the Beauty World MRT station since last year. He added that authorities have since installed anti-monkey equipment and devices in the area. They have also taught residents how to reduce the rate of monkey intrusions in the area. Other Areas in Singapore With Monkeys And monkeys haven't only appeared in the Beauty World area. Last July, it was reported that several monkeys were spotted in Punggol, particularly in the housing estates near Punggol Waterway. Back then, the monkeys had apparently stolen food, damaged properties and created a mess by scouring for food in rubbish bins. Join our Telegram channel for more entertaining and informative articles at https://t.me/goodyfeedsg or download the Goody Feed app here: https://goodyfeed.com/app/ Those Caught Feeding Monkeys Will be Fined And while there's no foolproof way to ensure that monkeys will never appear in areas near us, NParks has several measures to keep those occurrences to a minimum. One such measure is a fine, which will be imposed on those who are caught feeding wild monkeys. Those found guilty of doing so for the first time may be fined up to $5,000, while repeat offenders will be fined up to $10,000. Those requiring assistance regarding wildlife issues can also call the 24-hour Animal Response Centre at 1800-476-1600.