MONKEYS DRIVE THEM ALL NUTS (1986)

MONKEYS DRIVE THEM ALL NUTS

by D Anderson
The Daily Telegraph (Australia)
November 10, 1986

NEW DELHI: The authorities in the Himalayan foothills, where the British established their Indian summer capital at Simla during the Raj, have been forced to tackle some serious monkey business.

An extraordinary plan is now being prepared to trap and capture vicious mountain monkeys, which have begun to attack children and tourists in Simla.

The scheme is being handled at the political level in Simla, the capital of Himachal Pradesh state, after the bureaucracy rejected it as a “futile and dangerous” task which could even lead to death for anyone brave, or foolish, enough to try and catch the animals.

The crunch came in May when a male monkey attacked a school, bit 45 children, one fatally, and forced a virtual state of emergency.

The fatality served to make up the minds of the authorities.

On August 10 they decided to hire monkey-catchers from the desert state of Rajasthan to snare the animals at a price of $1 each and send them to areas uninhabited by human beings.

“We cannot kill them because the Indian Wildlife Act prohibits it,” Simla’s mayor, Adarsh Kumar, said.

More than 2000 monkey attacks causing injury and shock are reported in Simla annually, according to medical authorities.

The government says it is determined to go ahead with the scheme despite protests from the bureaucracy and fears of Hindu protests.

The monkey is revered by Hindus as a symbol of Hanuman, the monkey god.

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