Shimla: Faced with an exploding and menacing monkey and langur population in the hill state, it got wild life wardens here in Shimla to finally act against a human attacking langur, yesterday, when he ran amuck and threatened security personnel at the chief minister official residence.
For the past four days the animal was on the loose attacking men, women and children around Lady Reading Hospital and Cart Road in and around Hotel Himland-Timber House localities
Complaints with the city wild life warden’s office had failed to activate the staff to nab the animal. It had become difficult for women and children to move about without some kind of security to fight the simian should one have to face a surprise attack, but not much attention was given.
It was only when security personnel, which included armed security men, posted at the chief minister residence ‘Oak Over’ were alarmed with the terror that the langur struck on the compound early (7.30 a.m.) yesterday morning that the wardens came into action.
Efforts to drive away the langur had the animal charge at the security men, who ran for cover to hide in a picket, lest the animal bite them.
The wild life department hurriedly put together a team, when the security contacted them.
After much effort the team was finally able to trap the animal and sedate him (at 11.30 a.m.)
“The wayward langur has been trapped and caged at Tutikandi Zoo,” declared Anish Kumar, city wild life warden.
Most hill stations and the countryside in Himachal Pradesh is facing a problem of overgrown monkey and langur population, so much so that agriculture productivity has been badly affected.
A langur, which is larger than a monkey, till about a decade ago were shy animals and stayed away from human habitations.
Emboldened by monkeys having successfully occupied urban areas and keeping the human population in fear of wandering troupes, langur’s have shed their shyness and are now competing with monkeys for urban territory that is adding to the man-animal conflict in the city.
Several organisations have held protests and even asked for drastic solutions like mass culling by declaring the animal as vermin’s or permitting exporting of monkeys for medical research.
The issue also prominently figures on election manifestos of all political parties in the state.
The government, some years ago, had even permitted monkey culling but animal lovers had approached the courts who had put the move on hold.
To contain the growing population, the wild life department had established sterilization centres, where the monkeys after being trapped were being sterilized.
However, the project has not achieved any tangible results and has failed to contain the population growth of monkeys, both in the city or the rural areas.