Catch a monkey in Himachal, win a reward

February 20th, 2008 - 8:58 am ICT by admin  

Shimla, Feb 20 (IANS) Catching a monkey in Himachal Pradesh would soon a become rewarding endeavour as wildlife officials here are thinking of involving the public and giving them a cash prize for catching the menacing simians. “We are preparing a proposal to involve people in capturing monkeys by offering them monetary benefits,” said Vinay Tandon, chief of the state wildlife department.

The proposal, if accepted by the government, will be introduced in monkey-infested zones. The captured animals will be shifted to primate protection centres that are to be set up in Shimla and Naduan in Hamirpur district.

Officials said Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal had asked the wildlife department to prepare a proposal to catch monkeys and shift them to these primate protection parks.

The department is likely to offer Rs.400 for catching a monkey, the officials said. However, it isn’t clear if there is a plan to train people to do so.

The state government is already carrying out monkey sterilisations in and around Shimla for the past one year. But of the 30,000 monkeys in the hill state, only 1,000 have been sterilised so far.

In the past, the government had captured monkeys with the help of experts from urban centres and shifted them to rural areas. This had angered villagers and farmers as the horses of simians had damaged standing crops.

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