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South India’s first rehabilitation centre for monkeys comes up in Telangana

Hyderabad, Dec 21, 2020 –
A rescue and rehabilitation centre for monkeys has come up in Telangana, where several districts are facing monkey menace.

The Monkey Rescue, Rehabilitation and Sterilisation Centre, only the second such facility in the country, has come up in Nirmal, one of the worst affected districts in the state.

Monkeys that venture into human habitations will be caught and brought to the centre where they will be operated on for birth control. After the rehabilitation period, they will be released into the forests.

This is the first rehabilitation centre for monkeys in south India and only the second in the country. The other facility is in Himachal Pradesh.

The centre has come up at an estimated cost of Rs 2.25 crore at Gandi Ramanna Haritavanam near Chincholi village.

The centre was developed after a team of veterinary doctors visited the monkey sterilisation centre at Tutikandi in Shimla. They studied all the processes for rescue, rehabilitation and sterilisation of monkeys.

The centre can house 200 monkeys. Four special enclosures have been readied with a capacity for 50 monkeys each.

Monkeys, which venture into human habitations, will be transported to the centre in a phased manner with the help of gram panchayat officials. Doctors will sterilise the monkeys after which they will be kept in cages for observation for 10 to 15 days. Later, they will be released in the interior forests.

According to veterinary doctors involved in the project, adult female monkeys will undergo sterilisation by laparoscopy while adult male monkeys will undergo vasectomy. They will check the simians for diseases and ensure that only disease-free monkeys are released in the wild.

The forest department has planted several fruit and flowering plants to make the centre a sustainable habitat for the primates.

The rehabilitation centre has been established on the advice of Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao, said Minister for Forests A. Indrakaran Reddy.

The Chief Minister has been stressing on the need to improve the green cover in the state so that monkeys venturing into human habitations can be taken back to the forests.

The Forest Minister said an action plan has already been implemented by the state government to maintain ecological balance which is a must for human existence. Under this action plan, steps are being taken to ensure that food is available for the wild animals, including tigers, in the forests.

A massive plantation drive has been taken up to increase the green cover. Crores of trees are being planted under Haritha Haram, a large-scale tree-planting programme. Flower, fruit-bearing and medicinal plants are also being planted under this programme.

In 2018, the forest department had prepared a plan to tackle the monkey menace. This was estimated to cost Rs 30 crore.

Monkeys are causing problems in both rural and urban areas in the state. They enter human habitations for food, damage crops, enter homes and even attack humans.

Nirmal, Adilabad, Mancherial and Kumaram Bheem Asifabad districts are the worst hit by money menace. People are using various methods to drive out monkeys. Sometimes it is leading to unfortunate incidents. Last month, unknown persons poisoned more than 50 monkeys to death in Mahabubabad district.

The bodies of the monkeys were stuffed in gunny bags and thrown on a hillock near Sanigapuram village. Officials believe that farmers could have poisoned the monkeys to death for destroying crops. (Agency)

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