How to train a monkey?

The first task of the teacher is to make the monkey feel itself comfortable in its new surroundings. This is the most important and most difficult part of training monkeys. This is established by taking good care of the monkey and never punishing or hitting it.

The basic training starts with a wooden box with a steel pole in it. On this pole, a coconut is mounted in such a way that it can turn. The trainer starts to turn the coconut by hand a safe distance from the monkey. After doing this for a few days, the monkey gets curious and wants to try this also. Now the trainer is able to take the monkey and put the animal between his/her legs, holding the box in front of the monkey. Normally it is enough to guide the hand of the monkey and make it touch the coconut.

The monkey now learns to turn the coconut with its hands and feet, and then will do the same with a hanging coconut. For this exercise we use a bamboo rod and sometimes some coconut leaves to simulate a coconut tree. The monkey will never climb into a coconut tree without a line, so now another important exercise follows. The monkey must learn to free itself, should it get it’s line trapped in the tree. These are the basic things a monkey has to learn and we call it elementary school. This takes about 3-6 months, and costs the owner about 6000 Baht.

Some monkeys are suitable to go to secondary school. Here they learn to put picked coconuts in a bag and carry the coconuts to any place the owner points out. This takes another three months and will cost the owner about 25,000 Baht.
The highest level of education we offer is called high school. Here we can teach the monkey practically anything the owner wants, but it must be related to the coconut harvest. We will not train monkeys for circus shows, or factory work.

This is in brief what you can see at the Monkey Training College in Surat-Thani.

In this short movie, you will get an impression of monkey training