Hinterland Green

Saturday, July 25, 2009

India to Build Special School to Improve Behavior of Delinquent Monkeys

Monkey in India
Monkeys have become a major nuisance throughout India (BBC News)

I don't know whether to laugh or keep a straight face. Wildlife officials in India plan to build a special school to improve the behavior of delinquent monkeys. Yes, you heard it -- a school for delinquent monkeys. Officials have said that their aim is to target monkeys that pose a serious threat to people in the state of Punjab, where they have become a growing menace, as they move into towns and cities in search of food.

According to the BBC, the state government has asked India's Central Zoo Authority for funds to build the country's first monkey rescue and rehabilitation centre. Punjab reportedly has more than 65,000 wild monkeys, where it is not uncommon for them to attack humans as they search for food.
The problem of rogue monkeys is particularly severe in towns close to India's north-western border with Pakistan. Officials accuse them of a variety of bad behaviour from terrorising children, snatching food from people and destroying property. Macaque monkeys routinely destroy TV antennae, tear down clothes-lines and damage parked scooters and motorcycles.

"Besides people landing in hospitals after encounters with monkeys, the animals also often get hurt when house owners try to chase them away or keep them out by using live electric wires and other means," chief wildlife warden RK Luna told the BBC. The proposed new monkey school will take in the "worst offenders" and put them through a crash course in good manners.

"We have proposed a composite facility where scientific methods will be employed to change and alter the social habits of the monkeys," Mr Luna said. Wildlife officials hope to reduce aggression and train the monkeys to be more like the wild animals they originally were.

It is hoped that the school will eventually become a temporary home for up to 100 rogue monkeys. It will begin with 15-20 animals complete with a quarantine area and a veterinary hospital. The monkey rehabilitation centre is planned as an extension to a mini zoo near the city of Patiala, in a thickly forested area that was once the royal hunting grounds of the princely state of Patiala. Source:  BBC News
Who would have ever thought a school for delinquent monkeys would ever be opened. Now that's a real doozy of a story.
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