SDMC to train staff to catch monkeys

In a bid to tackle the rising number of monkey bite cases, the South Delhi Municipal Corporation is mulling to give training to its staff to catch monkeys as it has not been able to hire any professional catcher since last year.

The civic agency is also planning to recruit people on contract who will be later trained to catch monkeys. At present, there is only one monkey catcher with the South Corporation.

“The South Delhi Municipal Corporation has the highest number of monkeys under its jurisdiction, and a lone monkey catcher is not enough to catch monkeys,” said R B S Tyagi, Director of Veterinary Sciences, South Corporation.

Asked if the corporation will train the people, the official said, “The city government’s wildlife department is equipped to train such people.”

Last year, the South Corporation had raised the amount paid for monkey catchers from 800 to Rs 1,200 per monkey.

“We raised the amount to be given to catcher per monkey. Yet we didn’t find any takers. We had put out advertisements four times in the past year but nobody came forward to take up the job,” the official added.

Senior officials with the South Corporation said that the civic agency might not also get people willing to undergo training to catch monkeys.

“It’s not the prerogative of the corporation to catch monkeys. The city government’s wildlife department is mandated to catch monkeys under the Wildlife Protection Act 1972,” said an official.

The population of monkeys is not known. “The civic agency has not done any survey to find out the number of monkeys. It’s the job of the city government’s wildlife department,” he added.

The three municipal corporations and the New Delhi Municipal Council had reported 1,823 cases of monkey bites last year. The South Corporation topped the list with 766 cases.

The North Delhi Municipal Corporation came second by reporting 536 monkey bite cases and the East Corporation saw 519 cases under its limits during the same period. Only two cases were reported from areas under the New Delhi Municipal Council.

In 2014, a total of 1,540 cases of monkey bites were reported by the three municipal corporations and the New Delhi Municipal Council.

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