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Predatory monkeys bring fear to historic Indian tourist haven



Thousands of monkeys are threatening the historic Indian city of Shimla, where sterilization and illegal poisoning have failed to cover up their frequent attacks on tourists and farms.

During India’s nationwide coronavirus lockdown, most macaques left the city to find food in the countryside.

With the relaxation of restrictions, they returned to the bully residents and snatched food bags, and now as many as 50 hungry monkey troops wandered in the former colonial British summer refuge in the Himalayas.

The city of 160,000 people has long been the main attraction for tourists seeking to avoid India’s hot summer, but the food waste they leave behind has attracted hungry apes.

Nand Lal showed animals the wounds of the dispute between AFP and animals this month.

The 46-year-old said: “When the dominant male suddenly attacked me, I was passing by a group of monkeys and three other monkeys came in.” After the attack, he needed multiple rabies injections.

“Fortunately, I can grab a stick and knock it back. I have bruises on my face and head. I was bitten and bleeding on my back.”

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Lal said that several days after the attack, he could still hear the “ch” of the attacker and the other two monkeys.

Kuldeep Chand Sood, a retired High Court judge, said: “People are very scared and they don’t know what to do.” He pointed out that when he was sitting on the patio at home and reading, he The leg was bitten.

He told AFP at his home in the Sanjauli district where macaques are infested: “I was just studying when a big monkey attacked and bit me.”

-The threat of monkeys-

Many houses in Sanjauli now have metal cages on their terraces and windows to keep intruders out, even knowing that they have stolen from the refrigerator.

Rajesh Sharma, the wildlife protection officer of the Shimla government, said the garbage bins full of food attract these animals.

Improving garbage collection means “monkeys find it more difficult.”

She explained: “But their habits are the same. Now, they try to snatch packages that anyone sees.”

“If they can’t find it, they will try to bite.”

Even among tourists at the Yahoo Temple, which owns one of India’s largest statues of the monkey god Hanuman, glasses and other shiny objects were stolen.

When not targeting humans, the state estimates that more than 130,000 monkeys steal or destroy millions of dollars in fruit and crops from farms each year.

Hindus believe that monkeys are sacred, but the government now announces that if these animals threaten property, they can be killed.

The official extermination campaign has not yet started, but farmers have illegally poisoned hundreds of animals.

In Shimla and other towns in the state, the authorities have tried to disinfect the monkeys to reduce the population.

In recent years, approximately 157,000 animals have been neutered throughout the Himalayas. An expert said this is the “only way” to control the problem.

Pooja Kanwar, an expert at the Shimla Monkey Disinfection Center, said: “If we poison monkeys like monkeys, it will also pose a threat to humans and other wild animals.”

However, monkey catchers say these animals are increasingly wisely adopting the strategy of trapping them with bananas and bread in cages.

Sharma said: “When the monkey is caught, it will remind others.”

bb / tw / oho / jah


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