A rehabilitation centre to come up at M.R. Palayam along the Tiruchi-Chennai NH 45

The Forest Department has identified M.R. Palayam along the Tiruchi-Chennai National Highway 45 as the spot for establishing the proposed cluster rehabilitation centre for captured monkeys.

Prior to setting up the rehabilitation centre, the department has procured from the funds it had received from the State government, necessary paraphernalia, including trapping cages and ropes for capturing monkeys from places where simians had become a menace.

Tiruchi is one among the 10 locations in the State identified for establishing the centres for housing captured monkeys for a temporary period before releasing them into the forest.

The other locations are Udhagamandalam, Coimbatore, Salem, Erode, Vellore, Madurai, Tirunelveli, Ramanathapuram, and Kanyakumari. The department has narrowed down on the sprawling reserve forest area at M.R. Palayam where an elephant rehabilitation and rescue centre was also proposed.

The State government had initially provided Rs. 2 lakh, out of which traps, medicines, and ropes had been procured, say the department officials who added that the second phase of funds amounting to Rs. 15 lakh was expected soon.

The centre would have veterinary facility, a separate place for housing the captured monkeys, a storeroom, and a shed for keeping the cages and other equipment. Troops of monkeys captured from various places would be brought to the centre and fed there for a few days before letting them into the reserve forests.

Only the ‘Alpha’ monkey, which is the leader of the herd, would be sterilised after being captured while the other male monkeys in the same group would not be sterilised in order to sustain the monkey population, says an official.

Veterinary doctors would check the captured monkeys prior to releasing them into the reserve forests, the official said.

Monkeys usually enter residential localities or other places where they get easy food and colonise in those places causing nuisance to public.

The captured monkeys would be released into the reserve forests as it would provide them food in a natural habitat, says an official.

The monkey menace cases had been reported sporadically at places including M.R. Palayam, Edhumalai, and Manapparai in the district, say the officials.