Animals damage Prison Farm
Management of the Pointe Blanche Prison Recently contacted the St. Maarten Nature Foundation regarding issues it had with the feral monkey population affecting various districts on the island.
Prison authorities reported that monkeys had ravaged the agriculture project at the prison, eating and damaging various crops which were planted and which were also almost ready to be harvested. Nature Foundation Chief Ranger Etienne Lake placed Monkey Traps within the prison in the hope of controlling the negative effects of the animals and bringing them to another location.
The St. Maarten Nature Foundation has been conducting baseline surveys in order to determine the abundance and level of threat posed by invasive and exotic animals on the island. "We have increasingly been receiving complaints and reports of various animals, but monkeys and raccoons in particular, causing problems for residents in various districts. Before we can make recommendations as to what can be done to control the population we first have to see how many of them are out there and what types of threats they pose to the health and safety of the general public," read a Nature Foundation Statement
Many residents have been contacting the Nature Foundation regarding large groups of monkeys, possibly vervet monkeys (Chlorocebus pygerythrus), acting aggressively towards residents and pets. The Nature Foundation has also received calls concerning raccoons overturning garbage bins in numerous districts. "We urge residents to not approach these animals and contact the Nature Foundation so we can record them. If a monkey, raccoon or any other unusual animal is observed contact the Nature Foundation at 5270490 or via firstname.lastname@example.org," Concluded the Foundation. The Nature Foundation assures that the animals will not be harmed.