BBP to get Tripura's spectacle monkeys

BBP to get Tripura's spectacle monkeys

Heard of a monkey that jumps from one tree to the other wearing a spectacle? Soon, people of Karnataka would be able to see the rare spectacle monkeys, better known as the Phayre’s leaf monkeys (Trachypithecus phayrei), or the Phayre’s langurs, found in the Northeast state of Tripura.

The Tripura government has decided to exchange its state animal with the Karnataka government. The Sepahijala Wild Life Sanctuary near Tripura’s capital Agartala would exchange captive animals with the Bannerghatta National Park near Bengaluru, an official source told Deccan Herald.

Sepahijala is one of the last habitats of the engendered Phayre’s leaf monkey, which has a white round patch around its eyes and looks as if it is wearing a spectacle, and thus called “spectacle monkey.”

These monkeys were once very common in Bangladesh, Northeast India, Myanmar, China, Thailand, Laos and Vietnam. But in the last four decades, more the 50 per cent of its population is lost due to loss of habitat due to jhum (slash and burn) cultivation, timber logging and hunting. Sepahlijala is the only place in India where they are conserved.

According to sources, the Bannerghatta National Park will get three spectacle monkeys. Among them, two are female and one is male. They are not coming alone. With them, Sepahijala is also sending a pair of pig-tail monkeys and two Asiatic bears to Bannerghatta. 

These are also endangered species. Sources added that Bannerghatta National Park will be sending Sepahijala a pair of lions, another pair of Sombers, in exchange. Sepahijala will also be given three porcupines and three black bucks.

While the entire exchange programme is supposed to get over by the end of this month, the officials from both states would be visiting each other’s zoo next week for final preparations. 

The animals will be transported by road. The Central Zoo Authority has given  permission to both Sepahijala and Bannerghatta for the animal exchange. 

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