After the Union government declared monkeys as vermin within the limits of Shimla municipal corporation, the Himachal Pradesh government has decided to set up a feeding station for monkeys to change their food habits.
The wildlife wing of the forest department will shortly set up a feeding station for monkeys in Jakhu, famous for the temple of monkey god Hanuman. Jakhu is also the hot spot of monkeys, because eatables are offered to them by the devotees.
The objective of the setting up of the feeding station is to change food habits of the monkeys, which, over the years, have changed drastically. Monkeys in Shimla are more dependent on the foods eaten by the humans and have virtually given up the habit of consuming the wild forage. Food cooked and stored in kitchens attracts monkeys to the discomfiture of humans. Monkeys steal food and eatables from shops and homes.
The wildlife wing has decided to import forage for monkeys.
“Over the years, there has been drastic change in the food habits of monkeys. We intend to gradually change them by setting up a feeding station. The objective is to gradually wean away the monkeys from inhabited areas to the forest areas,” officials of the forest department told Hindustan Times . The monkey menace is more pronounced in Tuttikandi, Kaithu Fagli, Khalini, Bharari Summer hill, Glen, Jakhu and Glen. The number of monkey bites have also increased in the town . The population survey, conducted by the wilildlife wing of the forest department, pegged the Monkey population in Shimla town at 2,500.
The survey has been done through Trail Survey using transact method and geographical information system. The survey was done in the entire state covering 2,631 roads of 12,782 km from June to July 2015 and environment and height. It was done on the basis of standards and scientific assessments.