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PGI's monkey menace is still a huge problem

CHANDIGARH: More than eight,000 patients come to Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGI) on a daily basis. What do you do then in case you have a campus that is teeming with monkeys, suspicious of strangers?

In India, the age-old apply is to make use of a madari, a langur-trainer. The thought is that, langurs, which can be extra possessive of its territory, would ward off the extra not unusual, Macaca mulatta that have turn out to be more and more daring in human habitats. The catch even though is the truth that in line with the Prevention of Cruelty Animals Act,1960, langurs are safe species and conserving them is against the law.

After years of coping with the menace, in line with the PGI officers, the institute of national repute managed to put across to Animal Welfare Board of India and quite a lot of different committees, the urgency of the situation and get permission to hire langurs to keep the monkeys at bay on the institute.

"About eight years ago, a petition was filed in the high court for hiring langur keepers here. We presented our problems and the court allowed us to hire langur keepers. We had submitted a compliance report on this," mentioned PC Sharma, chief security officer of PGI.

But the simian menace in the PGI refuses to go away despite hiring two langur keepers in the final decade. Though the monkey menace has reduced considerably with langurs around, the monkeys in finding some or the other way to enter the health center. "These animals are smart. The langurs are in the campus between 9am and 5pm. Guess what, the monkeys come after they leave and make a menace of themselves," mentioned a security reputable.

Now the institute is dealing with yet another downside: Finding trained langur keepers has turn out to be tougher, as the profession is deemed unlawful at the moment. Mostly of them come from Rajasthan. In PGI, every two years or so, the contracts of the langur keepers are renewed. Recently, the institute has floated a tender for hiring langur keepers. According to PGI, the ones up to now employed demand extra wage. "Over the years, we have increased it from Rs 14,000 to Rs 21,000, a month. However, it's not easy to find these langur keepers and tenders have been floated repeatedly," mentioned Sharma.

It is thought that the monkeys come from the woodland space within reach. The easy availability of meals is a large draw for them, agreed Sharma. And now with langur keepers at such brief supply, it is not clear how the institute proposes to take on this downside.

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