[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Thursday, 2 September, 2004, 14:52 GMT 15:52 UK
Nuisance monkeys could be exported
By Baldev Chauhan
BBC correspondent in Simla, Himachal Pradesh

Officials in the northern Indian state of Himachal Pradesh may have a solution to the problem of an over abundance of monkeys - export them to Central Asia.

Rhesus monkey
Monkeys in Simla have a notorious reputation

Officials in the state see urban monkeys as little more than nuisances who pester passers-by and steal food.

Himachal Pradesh has one of the largest monkey populations in the country - nearly a quarter of a million, according to the latest count last year.

Now the Central Asian republic of Tajikistan has offered to import monkeys captured by the state's wildlife department in the state capital, Simla.

The round-up of monkeys was launched to clear the resort town of the primates and release them in sanctuaries across the state.

Valuable commodities

Close to 500 have been caught and are now in cages, much to the relief of monkey-harassed residents and tourists who are heaving huge sighs of relief.

Monkeys in India
Indian monkeys could have export potential

And it seems that animals unwanted in Himachal Pradesh are regarded as valuable commodities in other parts of the world.

"The Tajikistan government has sent a letter to the Indian government requesting the import of monkeys," said AK Gulati, the state's wildlife chief.

"The central government in turn wrote to the state government for monkeys, and we are now considering exporting them."

Officials say the Indian monkeys are likely to be housed in zoos and sanctuaries across Tajikistan.

There is no shortages of candidates for export.

It is estimated that there are around 2,000 monkeys in Simla alone, including the more populous red bottomed monkey and black faced langoor.

They have a notorious reputation in the town as pests capable of getting into homes, stealing food and destroying gardens.

They have also been known to attack fruit and vegetable carriers, in addition to flipping open dustbins and scattering rubbish all over the streets.

Monkey brains control robot arms
13 Oct 03  |  Health
Monkeys show sense of justice
17 Sep 03  |  Science/Nature
Monkey-catcher with a mission
14 Aug 03  |  South Asia
Monkeys invade Delhi government
09 Jan 01  |  South Asia
Monkey mystery baffles Delhi
17 May 01  |  South Asia

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific