The first rescue and rehabilitation center for monkeys was launched in Telangana’s northern district of Nirmal. The forest department has set up a campus in Chincholi village for housing up to 200 monkeys for a period of 10 to 15 days, after which they will be released in forest areas.
Speaking to indianexpress.com, A Shankaran, the officer on special duty to the Telangana forest department, said four special enclosures are readied with a capacity for 50 monkeys each. Monkeys captured by Gram Panchayat will be sterilized and housed at the campus and later released in interior forest areas identified by the department.
“Adult female monkeys will undergo sterilization by laparoscopy and vasectomy will be taken up on adult male monkeys. That apart, they will be vaccinated and checked for diseases, if any. Nearly 50 percent of monkeys in the wild are found to have tuberculosis. The treatment will be ensured and only disease-free monkeys will be released in the wild,” said the officer.
The department has spent Rs 2.25 crore in setting up the center, which is only the second such facility in the country after one presently available in Himachal Pradesh. Forest minister A Indrakaran Reddy will inaugurate the facility on December 20.
The department expects monkeys caught from erstwhile districts of Nizamabad, Karimnagar, and Medak, etc apart from Nirmal which has been facing monkey menace for ages. The forest department will assess the new center’s functioning and consider setting up a similar facility for southern Telangana, catering to erstwhile districts of Nalgonda, Mahabubnagar, etc.
Presently, three veterinarians, three support staff, and a couple of animal keepers will be available at the rescue and rehabilitation center for monkeys in Nirmal. A laboratory, operation theater, and other civic amenities are also created.
“We have several locations across the state where afforestation activities are taken up by planting fruit trees suitable for monkeys. In the future, we hope to have a few such rescue and rehabilitation centers,” he added.
It was in May 2016 that the Forest department issued orders sanctioning the setting up of a rescue and rehabilitation center for monkeys and in November 2017, the foundation stone for construction of the center was laid by the minister.
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