The headlines read “Farmers Cry Out for Monkey Hunters” in an article in the *Nation Newspaper! In the past, I have documented on my FaceBook page and my blog retiringinparadise.com about the problems that I’ve had with monkeys, they eat and destroy everything! The archived articles can be found at Bajan Monkeys part 1 Bajan Green Monkeys and Bajan Monkeys part 2 Bajan Green Monkeys part 2. I usually plant 2 dozen plants of each vegetable including lettuce, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots and on nearly every occasion the monkeys have eaten every plant!
Farmers that grow vegetable crops for a living report they are fighting a losing battle. They are seeing groups of 14 or more monkeys converging on their farms. Some are getting so discouraged by losing entire crops to the pest that they are considering getting out of the business.
Currently there is a $15 bounty for killing moneys. Members of the Barbados Rifle and Pistol Federation believe if there was an increase in the fee more hunters will make themselves available. In the article mentioned above, one farmer suggested each farmer grow additional bananas and vegetables, especially the ones monkeys love to minimize the amount of damage done on every farm or garden. I’ve been unable to ascertain the monetary damage from the pest but it has been extensive.
For those of you that love to see monkeys and are upset at the mere mention or thought of harming such cute creatures, I have just the spot for you. *The Barbados Wildlife Reserve. Finally, some monkeys that I like! I don’t mind seeing them at the reserve, just not in my yard! Everyday at 2:00 pm is feeding time at the Reserve. This is one place where you are guaranteed to find monkeys! The monkeys have known about this feeding for some time. At 2:00 pm all of the monkeys from the neighboring gullies come for the feed of bananas, watermelon, cucumber, sweet potato, pumpkins and apples.
All the animals of the reserve know feeding time even the turtles. However in typical Bajan fashion the turtles show up late usually after 3:00pm after most of the choice fruits have been taken.
Finally, I’ve been given great advice from my next door neighbor about how to solve one of my problems with monkeys. He told me that I should only plant a vegetable garden when other fruits like mangoes, sugar apples or soursop are available for the monkeys. Given a choice, monkeys will eat sweet mangoes or bananas over anything else! However, if none of their favorite fruits are available, they will attack the garden. So, is my problem solved? I hope so. With mango season fast approaching, I’ll test my neighbors theory and try planting a garden again. Fingers crossed and hoping for the best!
*Barbados Wildlife Preserve located in St Peter the hours from 10am to 5pm. The cost is $30 bds ($15 us) per person above 14 years old cash only.
*Nation Newspaper, article by Sheria Brathwaite on January 9, 2019.