No more monkeying around

Updated - March 24, 2016 12:42 pm IST

Published - December 29, 2015 12:00 am IST - KALPETTA

Monkeys that were trapped from the Kalpetta municipal area in Wayanad district being taken in cages to be released in the forests.

Monkeys that were trapped from the Kalpetta municipal area in Wayanad district being taken in cages to be released in the forests.

: The Forest Department has resumed mass translocation of the simian population from various parts of Wayanad to remote forests in the wake of complaints of monkey menace.

The project is being implemented in association with the Kalpetta Municipality and various residents’ associations. As part of it, Forest Department officials trapped nearly 50 monkeys (Bonnet macaque) from the municipal area since December 22 and released them in remote forest areas. The operation would be continued in the coming days, said Forest Department sources.

The department had prepared a project last year to sterilise the primate population in the municipal area with the technical assistance of veterinary experts from the Kerala Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (KVASU) and Kalpetta Municipality. But, the project did not take off owing to alleged laxity on the part of the municipal authorities and the Forest Department. The department had planned to set up traps in 12 sites. The municipality had earmarked Rs.5 lakh for the purpose and the department had set up a laboratory at a cost of Rs. 7 lakh for the purpose at Lakkidi. Undue delay in the allocation of funds for the purpose and shortage of workers to trap monkeys after the outbreak of Kyasanur Forest Disease (KFD or Monkey Fever) in the district had adversely affected the project.

Later, the District Animal Husbandry Department undertook the project, but it was a futile attempt owing to lack of technical staff and power connection to the laboratory. “However we are trying to solve the issue and the project would be launched in a month to tackle the menace in long run,” said a Forest Department source.

According to the data available with the department, close to 4,000 monkeys posed a threat to normal life in the area.

The simian population is being translocated to the Wayanad forests to eliminate monkey menace.

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