Forest officials to intensify awareness programme against feeding the animals
Feeding of monkeys on the Yercaud Ghat Road continues even after the Forest Department launched a campaign a week ago (May 28). Feeding of monkeys by tourists as well as people of Salem affects monkeys and the forests as well.
The department has been successful in stopping regular feeders – who are mostly residents of Salem city and nearby areas – from providing fruits, vegetable, fruit wastes and rotten eatables on a large scale. However tourists continue throwing food with plastic wrappers to monkeys.
When the drive was launched, Forest Department officials said a team comprising 10 forest department personnel would create awareness among tourists and the residents of Salem to refrain from feeding monkeys.
The drive would go on for a month on both the ghat roads connecting Yercaud - at Salem and at Kuppanur – before legal action is initiated against persons feeding the macaques.
The officials said pamphlets would be distributed and sign boards, highlighting the bad effects of feeding monkeys and its impact on forest and monkeys, will be erected.
A couple from Chennai, who threw a few biscuits to monkeys, said they were unaware of such a ban.
“Throwing food items with plastic covers could be devastating as monkeys may die if they ate it along with the food. Left-over wrappers will result in pollution of the forest areas. NGOs are ready to assist the department in this regard,” says S. Sharavanan of the Wildlife and Nature Conservation Trust..
District Forest Officer P. Jayapalan said that awareness pamphlets in this connection would be distributed to tourists.