Purappemane farmers get clearance to capture trouble-causing monkeys

A team of experts has reached the village with cages and other equipment to capture monkeys

Updated - January 23, 2024 02:05 pm IST

Published - January 22, 2024 09:48 pm IST - Shivamogga

The growers of areca, coconut, paddy, and vegetables in Purappemane have seen an increasing number of monkeys (bonnet macaques) damaging the yield on their plantations.

The growers of areca, coconut, paddy, and vegetables in Purappemane have seen an increasing number of monkeys (bonnet macaques) damaging the yield on their plantations. | Photo Credit: Photo for representation only

Fed up with the trouble caused by monkeys, the residents of Purappemane in Sagar taluk have succeeded in getting permission from the Forest Department to capture monkeys in the village.

A team of monkey-catchers has reached the village and the operation is expected to start soon. The experts will attract the monkeys into cages through various tricks, including offering them food. The operation is expected to continue for weeks. 

The growers of areca, coconut, paddy, and vegetables in Purappemane and neighbouring villages have seen an increasing number of monkeys (bonnet macaques). They cause a huge loss by damaging the yield on the farm. Besides that, they often enter farm houses.

Kiran S., a resident of the village, told The Hindu that in his areca plantation, he would lose at least two quintals of areca per acre because of monkeys. “Two quintals of areca are worth nearly ₹1 lakh, considering the prevailing price. Of the 60 coconut trees, I could harvest a handful. This is the magnitude of the loss we face,” he said.

SOP for capturing monkeys

The Forest Department has set a standard operating procedure (SOP) to capture and translocate monkeys, following a direction issued by the High Court over a PIL in 2022.

The residents, through their Umamaheshwari Seva Sangha, approached the Purappemane Gram Panchayat for the capture and relocation of monkeys. They followed up on the application with the CEO of zilla panchayat. Later, it was sent to the Forest Department. 

Based on the request, the Forest Department officials conducted a mahajar of the place and filed a report. The officers said they had found about 170 trouble-causing monkeys in the village. “Now we have clearance from the Chief Conservator of Forests to capture trouble-causing monkeys,” said Mr. Kiran. The villagers had succeeded to capture around 150 monkeys three years ago also.

Contribution from locals

The whole process involves spending. As the local bodies expressed their inability to contribute funds due to a shortage in allocations, the residents have offered to contribute their share. The money is collected from each resident considering the guntas of land he or she owns.

“We have collected around ₹2 lakh for the purpose. This amount is to be paid to the team that captures monkeys. They charge up to ₹500 per monkey,” he said. Besides that, the villagers have to look after the team’s stay in the village.

Recently, officers of the Forest Department held a meeting with the residents. The villagers urged the officers to capture the monkeys as soon as possible.

Officers are now working out plans for the translocation of captured monkeys. An officer, who wished not to be named, said the department was contemplating sterilisation of monkeys. The officers were discussing easy methods for animal birth control, he said.

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