Agra businessman takes lead in ending monkey menace
May 21, 2007 - 10:50:15 AM
Agra, May 21 - Several efforts to control the growing monkey menace in Agra yielded little results due to a financial crunch. And now a businessman here has come to the government's aid by financing a campaign to drive the animals out.
With Mukesh Jain's support, the state animal husbandry department is providing the know-how and trained personnel to round up monkeys from residential areas.
The troublesome animals are being caught and transported to a jungle near Bah, 70 km away from the city. 'The dense green cover can support them. And there is no possibility of their returning,' Jain told IANS.
Over 50 monkeys were caught in the first two days of the campaign and Jain hopes it will gain momentum as more people volunteer and get involved.
'We would like people to stop feeding the monkeys - as is done out of religious beliefs. Those who want to feed them should contact us and we would buy food for the monkeys to feed them at secluded identified areas.'
Agra has been plagued by the simian menace for the past 10 years with the monkey population increasing at a fast pace. Residents of the city often have to restrict their day-to-day activities too due to fear of the monkeys.
'We don't even dare go to our terraces. We are scared of being attacked by monkeys who specially target children and women,' said Padmini, a housewife.
An area infested with the animals is the SN Medical College and Hospital.
'Patients and attendants are prime targets. They - run away with cough mixtures, glucose bottles or just anything they can lay their hands on, including spectacles. There have been so many cases of monkey bites in the premises,' a junior doctor said.
Agra Municipal Corporation's chief veterinarian Ravindra has constituted two teams to catch the monkeys.
'The campaign will also clear tourist spots and areas adjoining the Taj Mahal, where monkeys have harassed many visitors.'
Meanwhile, a new electronic device has been introduced here to keep monkeys away. The instrument, manufactured by a firm, emits ultra sonic sound beams that irritate monkeys, forcing them to run away. It is said to keep monkeys and even stray dogs 150 metres away.
The machine, priced at a high Rs.1,500, has been installed by only a few institutions in Agra.
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