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Capital's monkeys to get a new haven

Three hundred stray monkeys captured by civic authorities from various parts of Delhi would soon get a new home.

india Updated: Oct 10, 2006 22:55 IST

The three hundred odd stray monkeys captured by the civic authorities from various parts of the capital would soon get a new home away from the hustle and bustle of city life.

The Supreme Court on Monday directed that these monkeys, captured during a special drive against stray animals in New Delhi, be handed over to the Chief Wildlife Warden of Madhya Pradesh, where they will be released in the wild.

The order came from a Bench headed by Chief Justice YK Sabharwal on a PIL by one Gita Seshamani seeking directions to the Centre and the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests to check stray animal menace by sterilizing them and also by shifting them to other states.

According to the order, monkeys, currently being kept at Rajokari after being captured from various parts of the capital, will be trans-located to Madhya Pradesh.

The court asked the Centre to bear the expenses of Rs 25 lakh towards rehabilitation of the monkeys, most of whom have been sterilized.

Madhya Pradesh Government counsel, however, said that it would be very difficult to rehabilitate the monkeys accustomed to city life in the wild. Besides, there would be opposition from the local people, he submitted.

Most of the monkeys were captured from Central Secretariat, Birla Mandir, Malcha Marg, Krishna Menon Marg and Sena Bhawan areas of the city.

The court had earlier directed the Centre to check from the Chief Secretaries of Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttaranchal if they could identify appropriate sites in their respective states for shifting stray animals.

To overcome resistance from the people against catching monkeys, due to their religious faith and sentiments, the court had directed the government to launch a public awareness campaign to educate the people.

First Published: Oct 10, 2006 22:55 IST