29 June 2008

Monkey Business

Some weeks ago it was reported in State newspapers that politicians are beginning to turn a very serious gaze on the subject of monkeys and the possibility of developing certain programmes to send straying monkey groups back into the wilderness. When I hear these sorts of things, it makes me very nervous, because remembering the horrific dog round-ups of yesteryear, one wonders exactly how such monkey programmes would be conducted and monitored.

Apparently the Forest Minister for Tamil Nadu recently announced to the Assembly that residents of urban areas in the State, 'need not worry as his Department was working on a plan to ensure the animals didn’t get too close to people and homes.'

Langur Monkey

As an example, he cited Tiruvannamalai District, saying that hordes of monkeys constantly make their way into neighbouring towns and settlements. He believes the situation is being created by the 'superstitious belief of people who worship the monkey as Hanuman, offering it food and thereby encouraging the monkeys to leave their forests and head for nearby towns.'

Opposition DMK leader Pannerselvam interrupted the speech, saying: “Monkeys are our ancestors and we worship them only to ensure no harm is done to them.”

Bonnet Macaque Monkey

Good for him and glad that the monkeys are getting some kind of support in the Assembly. As for Tiruvannamalai there are two resident species common to the town and area, the Bonnet Macaque Monkey and the Langur (Hanuman) Monkey. The Langur is very shy and mostly seen on the east side of Arunachala Hill and the Bonnet Macaque is an absolute rascal and definitely not shy or retiring. I have already made lots of postings about my little friend the Macaque – what a naughty one!

1 comment:

Sandra Owens said...

The two photographs of monkeys are wonderful, want to pick them up and hugs.