Macaque Attack!

Bangkok, June 17 2010
(Story and picture credit: Phuket Gazette)A British woman was attacked in Thailand by a pack of crab eating Macaques while trying to conquer her lifelong fear of primates.Macaque pic courtesy of not S & P restaurants
Dee Darwell, 56, from Peterborough blacked out as first one monkey
then another bit her and then she was surrounded be a whole pack.
She collapsed with blood spurting from her arm and had to be rescued by Thai boatmen.
The incident happened on Monkey Island, near Phi Phi Don, in the Andaman Sea off the holiday island of Phuket.Dee Darwell. Photo: Phuket Gazette
Mrs. Darwell said she had had a fear of primates as a result of her
father bringing up a chimpanzee which she described as ‘positively
But she had joined with a friend a tour run by the Siam Sea Canoe tourist agency to confront her fear.
After arriving on the beach she decided to sit down and take in the tranquility.
‘I thought I was heading for safety under this rock in the shade,
only to cool down. I laid the towel down and there were no monkeys in
sight,’ said Mrs. Darwell.
‘The next thing I noticed, this monkey walked up next to me and I thought, ‘Oh dear,’ and I began to stand up to move away.
‘Then, the monkey took my wrist and pounced on my right arm, sinking
his teeth in and hung off it. He wouldn’t let go; he was locked on. I
was absolutely petrified. I was shaking from head to foot and I froze,’
she said.
‘There was one man, a tourist, and when he saw the monkey bite me, he
screamed and ran off…Then another, bigger monkey bit my arm, just next
to the other one biting me, and all of a sudden I was surrounded by
She said three or four of the creatures began attacking her from all
sides, grabbing her arms, legs and rear end, leaving bruises all over
her body.
‘I thought, ‘This is it, I’m going to die, I’m going to be savaged by these monkeys,’ then I went into shock.’
Mrs Darwell does not remember how she was rescued, but was later told that the boat crew had gotten the monkeys away from her.
The next thing she remembers was the blood ‘pumping out of a deep,
deep hole’ near her right wrist. ‘It was like it was all going in slow
motion and I was watching a movie,’ she told the Phuket Gazette.
Mrs. Darwell who was taken to the Bangkok Phuket Hospital added: ‘I
wouldn’t have got off that bloody boat if the tour guide would have said
at all that there was any danger, any risk, even the slightest risk. I
would not have gotten off that boat,’ she said.
Tour leader Mr. Yongyut Buasod said, ‘We can’t control the monkeys if
they decide to bite someone, that’s why we always warn the tourists.
That day some people were teasing the monkeys. They don’t necessarily
attack the specific person teasing them’.
‘Every tour company bringing tourists here warns their customers. The
tourists don’t have to get off the boat if they don’t want to,’ he

About the Author

Andrew Drummond

Andrew Drummond is a British independent journalist and occasional television documentary maker. He is a former Fleet Street, London, journalist having worked at the Evening Standard, Daily Mail, Mail on Sunday, News of the World, Observer and The Times.

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