And now an exclusive park for monkeys in Karnataka

Representative image

The Karnataka government has decided to develop a monkey park on 100 acres in Shivamogga district to control their menace and to protect crops in the region.

On Tuesday, Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa chaired a meeting along with Ministers, Chief Secretary, forest officials, MLAs and farmer representatives from Shivamogga district regarding damage caused by wild animals to crops in the region.

Sharing details of the meeting, Tirthahalli MLA Araga Jnanendra, who hails from the region, on Wednesday said, "we had brought to the notice of the government the menace caused by wild animals by destroying our crops, and the Chief Minister has responded positively.

"In the meeting yesterday two of our demands like installation of solar fence by the government to check wild buffaloes and setting up of monkey park to stop monkey menace were discussed.

"The government has agreed to set up a monkey park at Nagodi in Hosanagara taluk of Shivamogga in 100 acres on a pilot basis," he added.

The Chief Minister is also said to have taken forest officials to task during the meeting on Tuesday and asked them to plant fruit bearing trees in the forests.

Asking officials to prepare a report on how to set up monkey park on a pilot basis, he said if proved successful, it can be replicated in other places also.

Yediyurappa represents Shikaripura constituency in Shivamogga district, and his son B Y Raghavendra is the Member of Parliament from Shivamogga.

Jnanendra said the monkey park concept has been tested in Himachal Pradesh and Assam, and the government has agreed to send a team of forest officials, MLAs and farmer representatives to study it.

It has been decided to look at the possibilities of controlling monkey menace at the proposed park, where adequate food will be made available to them.

The Deputy Commissioner of Shivamogga has been instructed by the government to provide land for this purpose near Nagodiimmediately, he said adding regarding installation of solar fence forest department officials have been asked to prepare an estimate and send it to the government.

Highlighting the "loot" caused by animals from the forest especially monkeys and wild buffaloes, Jnanendra said their numbers have increased, also forest laws have become stringent.

Vegetable crops, arecanut, pepper, banana, cardamom crops are the ones that are most affected, he said.

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