Villagers unite to tackle the monkey menace in Anakapalli district of Andhra Pradesh

Over 300 monkeys caught at Aratlakota village and released into forest near Paderu

Published - December 20, 2022 01:09 am IST - Visakhapatnam

The trapped monkeys were kept in an enclosure at Aratlakota, 105 km from Visakhapatnam.

The trapped monkeys were kept in an enclosure at Aratlakota, 105 km from Visakhapatnam. | Photo Credit: SPECIAL ARRANGMENT

Nearly 5,000 residents of the tiny Aratlakota village in Anakapalli district, 105 km from Visakhapatnam, have all come together to successfully tackle the monkey menace in their village by designing a proper action plan.

People brought it to the attention of village sarpanch P. Appalanarsa several times, and she had addressed the public issue in a meeting held with the officials of the respective departments in April, 2022. It was then decided to send the monkeys to safe places and call for tenders for doing the job.

Three agencies specialising in monkey trapping participated in the tenders. One Govinda Aggiramudu of Korukonda (Rajahmundry), who offered the lowest price of ₹330 per animal was assigned the task.

Aggiramudu’s team started catching monkeys from the second week of December. They have so far caught around 300 monkeys using scientific methods. Later, in the presence of forest officials, the animals were released into the dense forest of Pandenduva Mailu, which is located about 12 miles from Paderu.

Speaking to The Hindu, Sarpanch Appalanarsa, an alumnus of Andhra University’s Department of Botany, said, “All the residents of the village did not ask me about the repair works of roads, street lights or any others. All of them voiced only one public problem, which was the monkey menace. It has been the most serious issue in our village for years. With the cooperation of the elders and people, we decided to solve the problem. We finally sent more than 300 monkeys into the dense forest and are closely monitoring the remaining 50 to 100 monkeys.”

A resident of the village Arjun said that his daughter Aksha was injured in a monkey attack in the first week of December. “She is our only daughter. We rushed her to the hospital where the doctors said there was no harm. Every day at least one person goes to the hospital with injuries inflicted by the monkeys. Now, we are getting some relief,” he added.

Aggiramudu said that the villagers cooperated in catching the monkeys.

“We used bananas, groundnuts and peas among other fruits and nuts to attract the monkeys,” a monkey catcher said.

When contacted, Payakaraopeta Forest Section Officer Lakkoju Vijay Kumar told The Hindu that on the instructions of the forest officials, they guided the monkey catching team and assisted them during the release of the monkeys at night near Paderu.

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