Cairo: A Saudi man had been caught on a surveillance camera throwing food to baboons in violation of regulations as the country is seeking to curb the burgeoning population of the large monkeys blamed for attacks on residential areas.
The Saudi National Centre for Wildlife (NCW) has said its surveillance cameras had exposed the citizen’s behaviour that infringed the country’s environment law and regulations. Feeding baboons is punishable by a fine of SR500.
The NCW posted a video of the incident showing a car stopping in a mountainous area and a driver throwing apparently food attracting a pack of baboons before the motorist moves again.
The centre did not say when or where the offence happened.
Last week, NCW said it has taken moves against an increase in the numbers of baboons in the holy city of Mecca and other sacred places.
Efforts are underway to handle the issue in regions of Asir and Al Baha in south-western Saudi Arabia and Taif in the West where high density of baboons has been observed.
The centre has repeatedly called for community cooperation in managing the rise in baboon population and related environmental impacts. NCW has set up hundreds of signs warning against feeding them.
Experts have blamed the proliferation of the species on the motorists and tourists who stop to provide food to the baboons and record their visits to such sites.
In recent months, Saudi media has reported several attacks by baboons on residential areas and crops.
Last April, the news portal Sabq said a two-year-old child survived a baboon attack in Asir.