Encroaching Upon Wildlife

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A recent article in Times of India stated how a car driver was about to fall into a deep gorge when a herd of monkeys suddenly appeared before his vehicle. What took me by surprise was that the article termed it as a case of ‘monkey menace’. I think somewhere down the line, while living for just ourselves, we have forgotten that we are not the only species inhabiting the earth.

As our population and needs are growing, we are gradually encroaching upon all the resources of nature, leaving little for plants and other animals. With large scale deforestation and the destruction of habitat, the animals are left with no choice but to come into human settlements for food and shelter.

There is hardly a place on this planet where the impact of humans has not been felt. Recently there have been reports of increasing deaths of monkeys due to road accidents. Due to shortage of food the monkeys come near the roads as people feed them and get killed by speeding vehicles. We look at it as just another animal dead on the road, but we fail to see the impact it has on its kith and kin, and fellow animals.

Imagine a scenario when a mother sees her child dying under a car. How do you expect her to react? It’s the same with animals. When a mother monkey sees her baby being killed by humans, she gets in a rage and starts attacking humans. There was an incident reported in Saudi Arabia where a mother was hit by a car and the baby monkey lay crying over his dead mother’s body on the road.

The question arises as to how do we expect the animals that have gone through such a trauma to react? It is only natural for them not to like us. The need of the hour is to live in harmony with the animals as it is us who are destroying their habitats for our selfish needs.

Thanks to human intervention, homeless monkeys are often seen in residential colonies. Here are some tips to ensure the interaction is safe for you and them,

  • Do not make direct eye contact with monkeys
  • Do not cross the path between a mother and her infant
  • Do not irritate or tease the monkeys. Leave them alone and they will leave you alone
  • Be light footed while passing through a monkey group i.e. do not run
  • Do not go near a dead or wounded monkey
  • Do not get scared if a monkey makes a ‘Kho-Kho’ noise as normally it is a bluff. Ignore the monkey and walk away calmly
  • Do not ever hit any monkey. Keep hitting the ground with a big bamboo stick to make monkeys leave your house or garden
  • An injured monkey should be helped when a monkey group is not close by. Cover the injured monkey with a net and call an animal helpline

Author: Naina Pahuja

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