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Andhra Pradesh - Hyderabad Printer Friendly Page   Send this Article to a Friend

GHMC to release 263 monkeys in Vizianagaram forest

T.Lalith Singh

— PHOTO: NAGARA GOPAL

AWAITNG FREEDOM:Captured monkeys kept in a cage at the GHMC office in Amberpet.

HYDERABAD: After dispatching 237 monkeys that were caught in the city to the forests in Vizianagaram district last week, the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) is planning to release another batch of 263 monkeys in the next couple of weeks.

At the same time, the corporation is in the process of creating zone wise animal shelters to keep monkeys caught in the city and surrounding municipalities in its jurisdiction, till they are released in locations suggested by the Forest Department. A similar modern shelter expected to be ready at a cost of Rs.1.65 crore at Amberpet will also be used for the purpose.

The shelter at Amberpet apart from cages, kennels, and a hospital to treat stray animals caught in the city and surrounding municipality areas under GHMC jurisdiction, will also have operation theatres. “The facility will be ready by September and we will be able to provide still better care for the animals and also the monkeys that are caught and await release in the forests,” says P.Venkateshwar Reddy, GHMC Chief Veterinary Officer.

Complaints

Meanwhile, activists associated with animal welfare complain about lack of maintenance for the monkeys that are caught and await release in the wild. They express their reservations about the amount of money earmarked for feed and also delays in their release.

However, the GHMC officials dispute this and say that an amount of Rs.650 per monkey is provided and their feed that includes fruits, is provided. “Our maintenance has even been appreciated by a team of the Animal Welfare Board which visited the city recently,” says Dr. Reddy. Only after the Forest Department permits and identifies the forest area where the monkeys are to be released, the GHMC initiates the process of catching. “Once we catch them, male monkeys above the age of six months undergo vasectomy and after release permission from the Forest Department, all are sent to the designated area,” says J. D. Wilson, Assistant Director, Monkey Complaints Cell.

This time, the permission was given for release in the wild located in Vizianagaram district and 237 monkeys that were caught in north zone were released last week. “Now there are 263 monkeys in the south zone and once the males undergo vasectomy, we will be sending them too,” he adds.

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