Shimla, Mar 15 : To keep a check on monkey menace, forest officials in Himachal Pradesh have opened a primate protection park. Spread over an area of 232 hectares, the park will shelter over 2000 monkeys. The park will provide the monkeys a an opportunity to dwell in their natural surroundings with an assured food supply.
"The problematic monkeys cause damage to the agricultural crops and vegetables. We will catch them and bring them to Tutikandi sterilisation centre. We will sterilise them and release them in the park," said Nagesh Guleria, Deputy Conservator, Wildlife Wing.
Farmers have welcomed the opening of the park, as it will prevent the monkeys from damaging their crops.
"These monkeys ruin our crops and once they start getting proper food in this park, they will not venture into our fields which will be good for us," said Puran Thakur, a farmer.
According to a study done by an Indo-US project, there are, in all 375,000 monkeys in Himachal Pradesh, out of which 80 per cent live in towns, suburbs and villages in the state.
Estimates say that over the last three years, the monkey population has grown by 50 per cent in the state and their number is still on rise.
The unrestricted growth of simian population in Shimla has led the wild life authorities to come up with the idea to start the park. By Hemant Chauhan