Tribune News Service
Mussoorie, February 11
The Mussoorie Municipal Corporation here today launched a drive to relocate monkeys. As many as 41 monkeys were trapped in two cages on the first day of the drive. The exercise began from Library Bazaar and continued till The Mall.
Dr Virendar Bisht, MC health inspector, said the monkey menace had reached an alarming proportion. “We have set a target of relocating nearly 1,500 monkeys,” he said.
On the other hand, the drive has evoked a mixed response. While a section of the people say they could now go out of their houses freely, some believe it is not a right solution to the menace. They say monkeys are now habitual of living in populated areas. They will again move to the nearest cities and towns.
Dehradun Municipal Corporation officials said a similar relocation drive was carried out in Dehradun a few years ago. However, it created more problems as monkeys released in the Mohand forests entered nearby areas.
Wildlife experts believe that relocating monkeys from one place to another is no solution to the problem and it will be a futile exercise to do so. It will only have hazardous implications in the long run.
“Monkeys in urban areas have a different lifestyle. They rummage through dustbins and are used to feed on leftover. Hence, the relocated monkeys will not be able to survive in the forest area,” they said.
They believe that monkeys have a tendency to remain near a populated area. If released in forests, they will again head towards a nearest town or area and create nuisance there. The other problem of the relocation drive is the danger of spreading fatal diseases to other areas.
DFO, Mussoorie division, Dheeraj Pandey said the Municipal Council had taken permission to relocate monkeys. They had been asked to release the trapped monkeys far away from human settlements.
When asked about a sterilisation drive as an altenative, the DFO said the process was cumbersome, time consuming and required a lot of infrastructure. Hence it was not possible here.
Not a right solution to the menace: Experts
Experts say relocating monkeys from one place to another is no solution to the problem and it will be a futile exercise to do so. It will only have hazardous implications in the long run. Monkeys in urban areas have a different lifestyle. They rummage through dustbins and are used to feed on leftovers. Hence, the relocated monkeys will not be able to survive in forests.
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