The State government is all set to establish a cluster of rehabilitation centres in districts which have a thick population of monkeys to combat the monkey menace and control their population through an animal birth control programme.
A Rs 4.23 crore project is designed to reduce their steadily and systematically. “Under the project, the adult male monkeys wandering in human habitations would be captured and sterilised. After three days of post-operative care, these will be released from where it they were captured,” a senior forest department officer said. However, the project will not make the species extinct as it was not targeted at monkeys in forest areas, the official said.
The monkey sterilisation and rehabilitation centres would be established in Ooty, Coimbatore, Salem, Erode, Tiruchy, Madurai, Tirunelveli, Ramanathapuram, Kaniyakumari and Vellore districts. The forest department would implement the project with the help of the Animal Husbandry Department while Arignar Anna Zoological Centre at Vandaloor would act as a nodal centre.
The nodal centre would provide hands-on training for the veterinarians and surgeons. The government would allot Rs 20.2 lakh for each centre. While Rs 12 lakh would be used for establishing the centre, the remaining amount would be used for trap cages, nets, vehicles to ferry the animals, drugs and surgical instruments.
To construct the centre the district here, the forest department have identified a site near Christianpet.
The department would capture monkeys wandering in and around Vellore city, Ambur, Pernambut, Gudiyattam and in tourists spots such as Yelagiri Hills, Rathinagiri and Shoinghur.