Schooling monkeys, Forest Dept way - Mandi Gobindgarh News

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Friday, October 11, 2019

Schooling monkeys, Forest Dept way

Schooling monkeys, Forest Dept way

Aman Sood

Tribune News Service

Patiala, October 10

Perturbed by marauding monkeys running riot in Punjab cities and villages, the Punjab Wildlife Department plans to set up an ultra-modern facility to tame, train, rehabilitate and teach manners to them.

Sources say officials are looking into the feasibility of such a project inside the Mini Zoo in Patiala. The department plans to open a 100-monkey ‘resource-cum-rehabilitation centre’ and a team of experts from the department has already completed the initial work on this project. The first-of-its-kind monkey school will provide inmates with medical care and good-behaviour training to make them less violent and troublesome.

The move comes after the rising incidents of monkeys turning violent and even attacking humans and pets. Notably, Punjab is surrounded by hundreds of acres of prime forest land. The shortage of food and water often makes the monkeys venture outside the protected area.

“Teams will catch rogue monkeys across the state and bring them to this rehabilitation centre, where we will keep them under observation. We will find out the reasons why they turn so aggressive”, says Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife), Kuldip Kumar.

“After they are imparted behavioural training, we will also look into possibilities to release them,” says Kumar.

Officials said rogue monkeys have been running riot in Punjab — especially in the area around Birs — chasing and attacking residents, injuring them and snatching their belongings.

“Such a school for monkeys will help keep check on their rogue behaviour and save many from being infected with rabies,” says Jaskaran Sandhu, a wildlife expert.

The department will also write to the Central Zoo Authority after completing formalities related to the project. Almost 15 years ago, the lone “monkey jail” of the state in Patiala was shut down. It used to house monkeys from across the state.

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