In a bid to control monkey menace that is ailing the residents of the district, the forest department has relaunched a drive to catch monkeys. Special teams have been called from outside the state for their sterilisations.
Sources said amateurs were not catching the monkeys properly so it was decided to call professionals for the purpose.
Those who would catch monkeys would be given Rs 500. The department has circulated a list of professional monkey catchers to all forest divisions. All monkeys were not being caught resulting into unsafe behaviour of the remaining monkeys, experts said.
About four years ago, a similar drive was started in which around 6,000 monkeys were being sterilised, conservator of forests RK Gupta said. The department has constituted two teams comprising four members in each division.
The district headquarters were facing the problem for a long time but it was yet to be controlled, Gupta said. Monkeys would be set free after sterilisation. He said only professionals both local and those, who had come from outside the state, would be allowed to catch monkeys. The drive was suspended since long time because of breeding season of monkeys.
Sterilisation centre at Paonta Sahib
A monkey sterilisation centre has been set up in Paonta Sahib. The construction work was completed but functioning would start after inauguration, sources said. The forest department is transporting the monkeys, which have been caught, to Shimla for sterilisation which is a long drawn process.