Taiwan: Monkey Invades High Speed Rails Station, Sustains Electric Shock

A wild monkey that got into a high speed rail station in southern Taiwan on Sunday morning suffered burns from an electric shock as it ran around trying to escape, according to the Kaohsiung City Fire Bureau.

The monkey, identified as a protected species known as the Formosan Rock Macaque, was running between the platform, the train track and the rain shelter on the platform to escape the firemen and the city's Agriculture Bureau staff who were trying to catch it.

The Fire Bureau had responded to a call at around 10 a.m. that a monkey was in Zuoying Station of the Taiwan High Speed Rail Corp. and could pose a threat to the trains' operation.

The catchers tried to lure the macaque with food, but to no avail. They then shot it with an anesthetic dart, but even that failed to quiet the monkey. It continued to run around until it touched a high-voltage cable and received an electric shock, then fell onto a train that was not in service at the time.

The Agriculture Bureau staffers took the animal back to their base, where it was treated for burns on its paws and back.

Agricultural officials said the monkey may have come from the nearby Banping Mountain.

Zuoying Station was forced to make platform changes for arriving and departing trains during the chase. It said it had also temporarily cut the power for safety and informed passengers of the incident.

However, the temporary power cut drew complaints from some passengers, who said they had not been told why there was no lighting or air conditioning on the trains.

The Formosan Rock Macaque species, though protected, has reputation in Taiwan as a mischief-maker that harasses visitors for food at tourist sites, damages crops and even attacks people with rocks.

Kaohsiung City announced earlier this year that it will compensate visitors who have been attacked by macaques at its tourist areas such as Shoushan, Jinshi Lake, Chengcing Lake and Cijin.

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