Photo: ANI
Photo: ANI

Opinion | Simian terror

India suffers a scarcity of monkey-catchers. Also, we lack facilities to relocate and house nabbed monkeys

India’s opposition and ruling parties rarely speak in one voice. But on Thursday, their views converged—on terror, albeit of a different kind: The menace of rhesus macaques. In the Lok Sabha, Bharatiya Janata Party leader Hema Malini said that monkeys in Mathura, her constituency, had become a threat, and claimed that people have even been killed by them in Vrindavan. Her concern was echoed by politicians of various hues, including Trinamool Congress leader Sudip Bandyopadhyay, who recalled having his spectacles snatched by a monkey on a visit to the temple town; he had to pay the ransom of a Frooti pack to get them back, he told the House.

The problem is serious. Our Parliament is known to have employed langur handlers to scare away rhesus monkeys. Attempts at capturing and relocating these simians have also been made, though with little success. India has a scarcity of monkey-catchers and facilities to house nabbed monkeys. Such programmes, however, promise only temporary relief. A lasting solution requires a comprehensive plan to control this worsening man-animal conflict. Unless we do that, we have only ourselves to blame.

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