94 monkeys caught in 4 months, UT to be simian-free by year-end

The UT Forest and Wildlife Department has tasted some success in its attempt to rid the city of monkeys as the agency, roped in for the job, has got hold of around 94 of the primates over the past four months. Officials are now claiming that the captured monkeys are ones that had recently strayed into the city and not those that had been captured and released in the past. They added that they are able to distinguish as monkeys once captured are tagged with colour marks on their backs.

This, however, is a big haul of monkeys in a short span as in 2011, the department was able to catch only 92 monkeys throughout the year. The maximum number of the animals were caught at Sector 27, followed by Sector 28 and then Sector 26, this time around. The Forest and Wildlife department had hired professional monkey catchers after floating a tender for the purpose.

The department is now hoping to make the city monkey-free by the end of this year. It pays Rs 500 for each captured monkey, to the local catchers. The professional catchers also assist the UT Forest and Wildlife department in releasing the captured animals into the Sukhna Wildlife Sanctuary.

Containing the monkey menace in the city has always remained a tough task for the wildlife department. While the department was flooded with over 700 complaints of monkey menace in the last two years, attempts to catch the rogue animals have turned out to be a futile effort. Given large number of complaints in the last two years, the Forest and Wildlife department had also issued an advisory for city denizens to deal with the animals. After failing miserably to tackle the monkey menace in the city, the UT Forest and Wildlife department had entrusted the task to trained monkey catchers last year.

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