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MENAFN - Arab News - 22/12/2013
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(MENAFN - Arab News) Monkeys are damaging solar panels at energy and sustainable development projects in Saudi Arabia, an official from King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) said here recently.
Mohammed Al-Suwail, KACST's president, revealed this information during the "Atlas of Renewable Energy Sources" project. He said the primates have been attacking the solar panels and trying to destroy them in some areas.
Officials at the National Center for Wildlife Research said they were not surprised by this information because they have received several complaints from government and military officials about monkeys attacking and damaging their facilities. This was confirmed by Ahmad Al-Bowk, director of the center in Taif.
He said educational and health facilities are also the target of "monkey invasions." Many citizens have complained about monkeys entering their homes and farms.
The biggest mystery about these monkeys, from the southwest areas of the country, is the lack of official statistics about their numbers, despite their widespread prevalence in the Al-Sarwat Mountains, said Al-Bowk.
The latest statistics on their numbers were released two decades ago, which revealed that there were 250,000 living in groups of up to 1,000.
He said monkeys are quite common in the Arabian Peninsula. They have been present in this region for centuries and are part of the ecosystem. He said there are two types in the Kingdom, those that are domesticated and rely on humans, and wild ones traveling in groups.


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