Date:18/12/2006 URL:

Tamil Nadu - Chennai

Training for wildlife staff to combat monkey menace

P. Oppili

Kancheepuram, Tiruvallur and Villupuram districts to be covered

TRAPPING THE MENACERS: Field staff of Forest department seeing a demonstration on luring a monkey into a cage. — Photo: S.Thanthoni

CHENNAI : Faced with frequent simian forays into residential areas, wildlife authorities are training a section of field staff in trapping mischief-mongering monkeys.

A two-day training programme on trapping monkeys that raise hackles in residential neighbourhoods was organised recently by the Wildlife headquarters office at Velachery.

Wildlife authorities said there has been an increase in the number of incidents of monkeys entering houses and creating problems for people in the districts. As the Forest officials were not properly trained in trapping techniques, most of the times these animals managed to escape.

In order to reduce the number of such incidents, the field staff such as Forest Watchers, Guards and Foresters are being provided training by the Wildlife authorities, said Ashish Kumar Srivastava, Wildlife Warden, Chennai.

On the first day the participants had an orientation class on the monkey menace and its impact on human lives. Then followed a demonstration on how to trap small and trained monkeys by luring them into a cage.

On the second day, the field staff would be taken to the reserved forest areas and explained on how to release the rescued monkeys into the wild.

K. S. Sathyamoorthy, Range Officer, Wildlife (Headquarters), said the training would be imparted to field staff in Kancheepuram, Tiruvallur and Villupuram districts besides those in the Chennai Wildlife Division. So far two batches had attended the programme.

Each batch consists of about 20 persons, he said.

Many complaints

A. Annadurai, Forester, Villupuram Division, participating in the training programme, said that in the recent past they received several complaints about monkeys entering houses and creating havoc.

He said, "as we are not trained, on most of the occasions these primates used to escape and move on to another residential locality. After completing the training programme, we hope to trap those problematical monkeys without any difficulty."

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