Sri Lanka’s Agriculture Minister, Mahinda Amaraweera, has instructed officials to examine China’s proposal to import 100,000 toque macaque monkeys, which are native to Sri Lanka and classified as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

The monkeys will be displayed in over 1,000 Chinese zoos with the minister suggesting that Sri Lanka might be able to meet the request due to the large macaque population in the country.

As per a Sri Lankan news portal, a meeting was held on Tuesday to discuss the possibility of sending monkeys to China under the first phase of the programme. Agriculture Minister Mahinda Amaraweera led the meeting, which was attended by officials from the Agriculture Ministry, Department of National Zoological Gardens, and Department of Wildlife Conservation.


During the meeting, it was revealed that the current monkey population in Sri Lanka has grown to almost 3 million and that the monkeys were causing significant damage to local crops.

Despite Sri Lanka’s ban on almost all live animal exports, the country is currently considering fulfilling China’s request for macaque monkeys, as the country grapples with its worst economic crisis.
Sri Lanka is also looking to fulfill China’s request due to the fact that Beijing is one of Sri Lanka’s major bilateral lenders.