Stand still if a primate sits on your head, he will clear your hair of lice, reads a brochure being circulated by the BBMP to people who complain about being monkey trouble.
Residents of Salarpuria Symphony Apartments, Hosur Road, who approached BBMP’s wildlife cell, seeking redress to the monkey menace in their building, were stumped to receive a letter which listed dos and don’ts and did not offer much by way of a solution.
Amit Gupta, president of the Salarpuria Symphony Apartment Owners Association, said: “We sent a letter to the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, BBMP wildlife cell, and were told to get in touch with BBMP wildlife warden Sharath Babu through email. Instead of addressing our problems, Babu replied, listing out the reasons contributing to the menace and preventive measures. We were told to print the mailed version and distribute copies to other residents. This is shirking from responsibility.”
The mail sent back to the Salarpuria residents on May 9 reads: “Primates (Bonnet macaque) are social creatures mainly in groups and found widely all over Karnataka. Primate distress calls emanating from residents are on a high usually on holidays, as they are present at home and witness such situations.”
Residents say the monkeys started frequenting their building five months ago. Sanjay Agarwal, said: “My windows have grills. But, it does not stop the monkeys from entering inside. These fearless creatures threaten our well-being and pose a grave danger to the children in the apartment. My kids are scared to go out of the house.”
In response, the BBMP sent a letter offering ‘short-term’ solutions, delivering ‘precious’ advice like: Lock your fridge during the primate visiting hours; Do not show your teeth to the primate, you are indirectly challenging the primate. Do not run away from primates as they know you are not their food, the primates just want to socialise. Stand still if a primate sits on your head, he will clear your hair of lice; we have put the primates into this habit of eating from our fridge rather than eating from trees and we must take them off this habit; Be armed with a stick while going to the terrace.
BBMP wildlife warden Sharath Babu defended his mail, saying, “Relocation of the primates can be done only after obtaining the necessary permission from the Forest department higher-ups. It is not easy as it involves a number of complications. We get around 50 to 60 mails from the residents in the City every month, complaining about the monkey menace. We cannot rehabilitate all the monkeys, unless an order has been issued to us from the higher Forest department authorities. The letter which has been sent applies to everyone in the City who is suffering from monkey menace.”
The residents are not amused with BBMP’s response. They now plan to approach the Forest department, hoping for a solution.