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Primate-phobic Brit attacked by crab-eating Macaques

Plan to confront fears goes seriously titsup

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A Peterborough woman's plan to confront her lifelong fear of primates went seriously titsup when she was set upon by a pack of crab-eating macaques, the Daily Mail reports.

Dee Darwell, 56, had apparently taken a strong dislike to our cousins as a result of her dad raising a "positively evil" chimpanzee. In an attempt to the combat the effects of her devil-chimp trauma, she agreed to travel with a pal to Thailand's Monkey Island, off the coast of Phuket.

This turned out to be a really bad idea, and although Darwell's initial landing on Monkey Island's beach proved to be monkey-free, that didn't last long.

She recounted: "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. The next thing I noticed, this monkey walked up next to me and I thought, 'Oh dear'. 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.

"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 monkeys.

"I thought, 'This is it, I'm going to die, I'm going to be savaged by these monkeys,' then I went into shock."

Darwell was rescued from the savage pack by Thai boatmen, suffering blood "pumping out of a deep, deep hole" in her right arm. She was subsequently treated at Bangkok Phuket Hospital.

Tour guide Yongyut Buasod, of the Siam Sea Canoe tourist agency, which served up Darwell to the primate mob, explained: "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."

Darwell was having none of it. She protested: "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." ®

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