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| Last Updated:01/12/2022

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Appeal - Stop Feeding Monkeys

 Monkey-comic-poster

 

release of poster03-Sep-2022: H'ble Minister Forest Shri Karma Loday Bhutia along with Shri M.L Srivastava, IFS ACS-cum-PCCF, Shri. Pradeep Kumar, IFS APCCF; Dr. Sandeep Tambe, IFS APCCF today released the poster of the East Wildlife Division. The poster is a cartoon depicting the negative effects of the practice of feeding monkeys. It is an appeal to the general public to refrain from feeding monkeys since such actions are the cause of increasing incidence of Monkey Menace in the State. The Forest and Environment Department alone cannot resolve the issue of monkey menace without the support of the general public. Thus, it is a humble request to everyone to refrain from feeding monkeys and to dispose garbage properly. The poster has been designed by Mr. Rohan Chakraborty.

 

There are increasing reports of monkeys arriving/attacking/stealing in residences of people in the Gangtok city and the surrounds. In the villages the problem is more severe with monkeys raiding the farmers crops. The Department is putting best efforts at its disposal to curb the menace. However without the support of the public, controlling this menace is not possible. If we compare the population of our monkeys with other Indian states like Himachal Pradesh for example, ours is insignificant. Hence it is felt that we are comparatively in a better position to take control of the situation and prevent it from escalating.

Primatologists have done behavioral studies of monkeys and these were well documented in an article in the Down to Earth Magazine titled “Out of control: why monkeys are a menace” by Anupam Chakarvartty. The article has pointed out several important facts and figures detailing the behavior, steps taken to control, extent of damages etc.

It has been noted that in various locations near roads, parking areas, hotels, markets, construction sites, offices and religious sites, monkeys are being offered food. In some places, garbage is left open or dumped carelessly. Such has led to mass migration of these animals to urban areas and tourist sites. This has triggered increased incidence of Man-Animal conflict in the State. Monkeys proliferate rapidly in urban settings because of easy availability of food and hence will create a challenging and problematic situation in the future. Studies have shown that in forests a Rehus macaque has to spend 10 to 14 hours searching for food. But urban or street dwelling monkeys finding food takes only 10 minutes. Where there is more food in abundance, monkeys spend time procreating. Experts say proximity to villages and cities have increased their life expectancy.

Feeding of monkeys causes them to become aggressive towards humans because monkeys society is built on a strong hierarchy of dominance. Feeding monkeys makes them believe that humans are inferior to them and this assertion of social rank translates into survival and thus the conflict arises.
 

Text by - DFO(WL) East Division, Forest and Environment Department, GoS