Monday, July 27, 2009

School Planned To Rehab Delinquent Monkeys

monkey schoolWildlife officials in India plan to build a special school to improve the behaviour of delinquent monkeys.

They say the aim is to target monkeys that pose a serious threat to people in the state of Punjab. Officials say monkeys are a growing menace in Punjab as the animals move into towns and cities looking for food. The state government has asked India's Central Zoo Authority for funds to build the country's first monkey rescue and rehabilitation centre. Punjab has more than 65,000 wild monkeys.

As more and more forests disappear, they are increasingly encroaching into human settlements, say experts.

Many of the animals now live in towns and villages and it is not uncommon for them to attack humans as they forage for food.

The problem of rogue monkeys is particularly severe in towns close to India's north-western border with Pakistan. Officials accuse them of a variety of bad behaviour from terrorising children, snatching food from people and destroying property.

Macaque monkeys routinely destroy TV antennae, tear down clothes-lines and damage parked scooters and motorcycles.

"Besides people landing in hospitals after encounters with monkeys, the animals also often get hurt when house owners try to chase them away or keep them out by using live electric wires and other means," chief wildlife warden RK Luna told the BBC.

The proposed new monkey school will take in the "worst offenders" and put them through a crash course in good manners.

"We have proposed a composite facility where scientific methods will be employed to change and alter the social habits of the monkeys," Mr Luna said.

Wildlife officials hope to reduce aggression and train the monkeys to be more like the wild animals they originally were.

Full story here.

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