A 59-year-old man was attacked by a monkey at his residence in DLF Phase 1 on Tuesday.
GS Johar had gone to the terrace to check the water level of the overhead tank when he saw a troop of 13 monkeys sitting on the terrace. Johar stood still when suddenly one of the monkeys attacked his right shoulder.
Johar shouted in pain and tried to walk down to his home on the first floor. Suddenly, the monkey, who had earlier attacked him, tried to block Johar’s path but he found a stick and scared the monkey away. In Gurgaon, monkey menace is a regular problem faced by residents. Their growing numbers is a constant worry for both civic and wildlife officials.
“I knew that if I stay calm, the monkeys will not harm me. But it was a different day. The monkeys first tried to scare me, when I was about to leave, one of them attacked my back. The bites were deep and I was rushed to the hospital,” said Johar, a businessman.
According to officials of the wildlife department, over 20,000 monkeys hover around various Gurgaon localities.
“The rapid urbanisation and decreasing forest cover has taken away the natural habitat of the monkeys and they are being forced to move to the cities. One of the major factors that drive them to the cities is food,” said RK Bhatia, DFO (wildlife).
The increased troops have also led to an increase in the man-animal conflict. Around 100 cases of monkey bites were reported in Gurgaon’s civil hospital since January 2016 and 387 such incidents were registered in 2015.
“The children are scared of the monkeys. We have to make sure there are no monkeys in the vicinity when the kids are alone. The administration needs to take concrete steps to ensure that the people are safe from animal attacks,” said Anita Singh of Sushant Lok.
The Municipal Corporation of Gurgaon officials, however, said staff shortage is one of the biggest hurdles in catching the growing population of the animals.
“We do not have a special team to catch monkeys. Only three of the MCG employees have been deployed for this work,” said Bijender Sharma, Senior Sanitary Inspector, MCG.