When innovation meets ideas in India, it usually turns out to be ‘jugaads’, which are hacks to get a grip of any situation in the best possible way with options available at hand. This is exactly what few villages in Andhra Pradesh came up with.
The debate about culling wild animals that were termed as ‘vermin’ left the country divided as activist claiming it as a heinous crime, while farmers lamenting over their loss. However, no middle path was discovered that would abide by ‘live and let live’, until this unique jugaad came to the rescue.
Several villages in Andhra’s North Godavari district, fed up by the monkey menace, came up with an innovative idea to scare away the apes using big cats — tigers. Confused, as to how petty villagers could tame the wild beast to help them? Well, because the wild cats are not real but are stuffed soft toys! Yes, we told you about jugaads.
As the monkey population rose in these villages so did their nuisance. These monkeys often attacked passersby, stole valuables and even entered homes. So, to go about in a sustainable way, villagers used these stuffed tiger to get rid of the troublemakers, a local paper Dinamani reported.
And if reports are to be believed, the trick worked as they places these stuffed beasts across the village. The villagers are happy to have fooled the monkeys and hopes they will not return to trouble them further.
The villagers launched several complaints to the authorities who tried to control the situation but could not add respite to their troubles fully. They said that there were far too many monkeys in the locality and it was quite impossible to capture all.
However, this is not the first time stuffed tigers were used to scare away real animals. In 2014, similar plan was hitched to scare away elephants. Famers in Tamil Nadu had used soft toys of the wild cat to keep away wild elephants from entering their fields in search of food. A BBC India report dating back to November 14, 2014, claims that the plan failed to keep elephants at bay, which were not frightened by the toys. The report claimed that farmers however, managed to save their coconuts from monkeys.
We cannot say if the 2014 idea inspired the Andhra village to apply the same method, but certain the monkey were fooled on both instances.