State may ape HP model; team to visit Himalayan state

A team of officials from Karnataka will soon visit Himachal Pradesh to study a monkey park established there, BJP legislator Araga Jnanendra, who is pushing for a similar facility in Shivamogga, said on Wednesday.

Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa had, on Tuesday, instructed the Forest department to prepare a plan for setting up a monkey park in Shivamogga, which the government believes is the solution to keep the primates from damaging farmers’ crops.

“There is a 100-acre land available in Nagodi in Hosanagara of Tirthahalli where we have suggested that a monkey park can be established on an experimental basis. The monkeys can be given all the food they want there,” Jnanendra, who represents Tirthahalli in Assembly, told reporters. 

The MLA said monkeys and bisons posed a “big problem” for farmers in the Malnad region. “That monkeys are causing trouble may be a funny thing for many people, but only those who suffer know how serious the problem is,” he said.

“Monkeys are destroying farmers’ crops. Farmers, who were once growing their own vegetables, are now having to spend a lot of money on buying them from the towns. In Nagodi, for example, 100 quintals of cardamom used to be sold, but it’s not even 25 kg this year,” he explained.

Jnanendra was part of a delegation that met Yediyurappa to discuss the menace.

“We also highlighted the problem posed by kaadukona (bisons) that ravage the fields,” he said. “We’ve proposed erecting 10-foot solar fences to keep them away.” 


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