Bengaluru is not monkeying around

  • By Hindu
  • | Sunday | 14th January, 2018

The gradual loss of tree cover in Bengaluru has had a fallout that few predicted — an increase in human-monkey conflict. We will write back to the government,” a senior official in the Forest Department said. Vallish V. Kaushik, environment and wildlife adviser to the civic body, recently sent a proposal to the Forest Department. In Bengaluru, it’s bonnet macaques that are raiding apartments, eating food and leaving destruction in their wake. Two years ago, the Forest Department had written to the State government seeking permission to establish monkey parks, not just on the outskirts of the city, but across Karnataka.


The gradual loss of tree cover in Bengaluru has had a fallout that few predicted — an increase in human-monkey conflict. With the loss of their homes, urban primates have turned to apartment complexes for survival, much to the dismay of residents. Conservationists and experts, who have expressed doubts over whether these monkeys can be successfully rehabilitated in the wild, given their dependence on human society, have come up with a novel solution: a rehabilitation centre or a zoo for urban monkeys on the outskirts of the city.

Vallish V. Kaushik, environment and wildlife adviser to the civic body, recently sent a proposal to the Forest Department.

“It is becoming difficult to manage the monkey menace in the city. I have proposed that the department start a primate zoo, preferably in the Cauvery basin near Doddamakali. It can be home to different species of monkeys and used to promote tourism, too,” he said.

In Bengaluru, it’s bonnet macaques that are raiding apartments, eating food and leaving destruction in their wake. This, despite surveys that have shown a decline in their population by as much as 65% across Karnataka.

Conservationists say it is not that the number of monkeys has suddenly risen in Bengaluru as much as it is the loss of their habitat due to metro projects and road expansions.

Mr. Kaushik is not the first to have sought a rehabilitation centre for the urbanised primates. Two years ago, the Forest Department had written to the State government seeking permission to establish monkey parks, not just on the outskirts of the city, but across Karnataka. The proposal, which sought 50% funding from the Centre, lists detailed specifications — from the number of monkeys that could be re-homed to the cost estimates.

Officials suggested that each park could have 1,000 monkeys at a cost of ?2 crore. “Even though the cost is steep, we do not want to shelve this proposal. We will write back to the government,” a senior official in the Forest Department said. Stay updated with all the Bangalore Latest News headlines here. For more exclusive & live news updates from all around India, stay connected with NYOOOZ.

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