Monday, January 22, 2007

Prodded by court, Delhi government plans 2 more monkey shelters

With the Delhi High Court's order to contain the monkey menace in the Capital, the Delhi Government has decided to build two more shelters to house the simians. While this will provide room for a total of 1000 animals, no relief is yet in sight as the monkey population in the city run to thousands.

The government has also formed a committee seeking people's views to address the problem. The committee has to submit its report to the court. But the brainstorming doesn't seem to have yielded much result. Government officials said the suggestions they received so far range from sterilisation, captivity and awareness drives telling people not to feed them - apart from the regularly used technique of using langoor to chase them away.

Delhi Environment Minister Raj Kumar Chauhan said the new shelters will be built in Outer Delhi after consultations with experts. One of the areas identified is Bhatti Mines. Rajokri already has a captive house, where 300 monkeys have been lodged.

The government of Madhya Pradesh has recently refused to accept 300 monkeys sent from Delhi. For every consignment of 300 monkeys sent out, the Delhi government has to pay Rs 25 lakh for upkeep.

According to wildlife experts, the monkey population in the city has gone up because people feed them out of religious sentiments. But not all monkeys are dangerous - especially those moving around in groups.

Story here.

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