Monday, April 21, 2008

Wild Monkeys A Threat To Islamabad Zoo Visitors

Wild monkeys have become a threat to visitors of the Capital Zoo. The monkeys used to cross into the zoo, which is covered by thick forests of Margalla Hills, day and night to be fed by visitors.

A zoo official told Daily Times on Sunday that wild monkeys were as dangerous as a mad dog. He said, “Recently, a monkey attacked a child inside the zoo boundary.”

He said the child’s parents were around and snatched back their baby from the monkey’s grip. He said, “Visitors, especially, children are unable to differentiate between trained and untrained monkeys. They often fell prey to wild monkeys.”

Polyclinic doctor Saima Mnazoor said bite of an infected monkey could cause rabies, which was deadly, if not treated properly. She said five, instead of 14, doses of anti-rabies vaccine could cure a patient.

The zoo officials said more and more wild monkeys had been crossing into the zoo to feast on sugarcane trash, which was thrown openly. They said zoo attendants had been asked to watch movement of monkeys so that they did not harm visitors.

An official said, “The zoo administration has not taken measures to prevent movement of wild monkeys in the zoo.”

He said the Capital Development Authority (CDA) had planned to specify areas on Damn-e-Koh Road, which was on the back of the zoo, for people to feed wild monkeys. Hence, he said, monkeys would be attracted away from the zoo.

He said, “Visitors going to Damne-e-Koh stop at many places on the road to see monkeys, blocking traffic. Once areas are specified for monkeys, traffic problem will also be resolved.”

He said the specified area would be fenced to stop monkey attacks on visitors, who should be educated on the harms monkey bites could do to them.

He said the number of zoo visitors had increased after addition of new animals in its cages.

Story here.

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