Marauding monkeys in the summer capital of the British raj in India soon may sport earrings under a population control drive, wildlife officials said today.
The monkey population in Shimla, capital of the mountain state of Himachal Pradesh state, has ballooned and wildlife officials say they harass tourists and need to be brought under control.
But earlier efforts using collars and dyes to mark monkeys who have already been sterilised so they are not picked up twice have failed.
Earrings are now plan B, a state wildlife officer said.
"We are considering putting on earrings on sterilised monkeys. So far 1600 monkeys have been sterilised in Shimla," said Nagesh Guleria, a Shimla District forest officer.
He said the simian population was in the thousands in the hill city where homes are stacked tightly along steep hills.
The monkeys, which are a revered animal in the majority Hindu nation, are sterilised with the latest technique which takes only few minutes to complete, say veterinarians.
The monkeys are then released in a project funded by the federal government at the Tuttikandi monkey rehabilitation centre in Shimla, Guleria said.