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Plan to tackle monkey menace in West Bengal

Special Correspondent

Problem acute in parts of Kolkata and Howrah, in areas close to the Hooghly river

Kolkata: Reports of a wide-ranging monkey menace in the State, from harassing schoolchildren to attacking workers in agricultural fields, have prompted West Bengal wildlife authorities to prepare an action plan to tackle the problem. The decision was taken at a meeting of the State Board for Wild Life, whose chairman is Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee.

The monkey menace is acute in parts of Kolkata and Howrah, particularly in areas close to the Hooghly which flows past both cities, areas adjoining bamboo orchards in rural belts of Howrah and East Midnapore districts in south Bengal and in the hilly terrain of Darjeeling district in north Bengal, Conservator of Forest, (Wildlife) Headquarters, Vinod Yadav, told The Hindu on Tuesday.

Wildlife authorities will conduct a preliminary survey of the simian population and their habitats across the State, following which the plan will be formulated. There is no recent estimate of the monkey population in the State, the last survey was conducted by the Zoological Survey of India 14 years ago, Mr. Yadav said.

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