Gun fails to silence marauding monkeys in HP

Natives in the hill state refuse to fire at monkeys citing reasons surrounding mythology, religion and even superstition. They believe the animal is venerated as a follower of Lord Hanuman. (PTI File Photo for representation)

The experiment to shoot down monkeys with the gun has proved useless to check the burgeoning crisis of marauding monkeys in the hill state of Himachal Pradesh. 

Orders to kill monkeys lapsed this week after remaining enforced for three-years.

Natives in the hill state refuse to fire at monkeys citing reasons surrounding mythology, religion and even superstition. They believe the animal is venerated as a follower of Lord Hanuman, which is why the bullet-loaded gun formula to get rid of prowling monkeys hasn’t found many takers.

In the last two years, only 5 monkeys have been culled by the bullet. The government had even announced a cash incentive of Rs 700 to every person killing the monkey. That too didn’t click as locals and farmers maintain that killing the monkey may not be the appropriate solution.

Before the shoot-at-sight orders to kill monkeys were notified, the ministry of environment and forest had declared the animal as vermin in capital township Shimla and 38 other places in the state where the menace was rampant. This was done on the request of the state government. 

According to sources, as the year-long extension to kill monkeys got over last week, the government has again sought renewal of the orders and that too by widening its scope to include several more places where the gun can be used to cull monkeys. 

Prowling monkeys, nearly 2500 in Shimla alone, pose a threat to human life and property. The state witness’s abundance of tourist footfall. In last one year, the crop loss in the monkey-hit areas has been estimated at over Rs 184 crore. Close to 2400 persons have been attacked by raiding monkeys since 2004.    

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Gun fails to silence marauding monkeys in HP

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