PRIMATES (Bonnet Macaque – Macaca radiata) are social creature mainly in groups found widely all over Karnataka.
Primate Menace : From the past few years the residents of Bangalore mainly from apartments, educational institutions, hospitals and establishments have been complaining of primate intrusions in their area of work / Residence .
Primate distress calls emanating from residents are on a high usually on any holiday as they are present at home and visually witness such situations. These calls are definitely not continuous and only periodic in nature as primates are nomadic in nature.
Reasons contributing to the menace:
a) Religious : most residents feed primates directly mainly at religious places as most residents believe it is their religious obligation. for eg in an apartment at Basavangudi residents feed the primates everyday religiously and do not want the primates to be captured whereas one resident went against the apartment residents association as she developed a high degree of aversion to primates and took the issue to higher-ups including Lokayukta.
b) Unscientific Garbage management: Indirect feeding involves picking up your milk packets as late as 10 am and the garbage management ( edible items are disposed off unscientifically in abundance mainly at apartments thanks to the sudden trend of wasting food).
c) Abandoning pet primates: A few primates illegally raised in captivity by residents are abandoned on the streets as managing the animal post maturity becomes difficult for the animal and humans.
d) Deforestation: Depletion in green cover has given rise to primates adapting to high-rise apartments.
In Bangalore city Primates have stopped eating from trees and started eating from our flats/houses which now act as fast food joints for the primates. This is a dangerous habit which needs to be curbed in the initial stages. Primates get aggressive if they are suddenly denied food directly or indirectly and have been found to raid any food source (the Fridge/children eating food /).
The impulsive decision arising out of the situation by many residents is to relocate primates which can be done only after obtaining the necessary permit from the Forest Department Higher ups.
Plan of action:
a) Long term: Adopt preventive measures so as to help the primates resume eating from trees . (this method has worked in all India radio quarters ,Yelahanka thanks to a joint initiative by all residents).
b) Short term: Relocation of the Primates as a last resort (with necessary permissions) which is a temporary relief as soon there will be a new group .
Do’s and Dont’s:
1) Children should be made aware of eating fruits and other delicious food in front of Primates.
2) Pick up your milk sachet immediately soon after the milk man delivers.
3) Do not cook excess food. As far as possible limit your food wastage.
4) Garbage bins must be brought out during disposal only .
5) Garden taps should be under lock and key.
6) Keep you windows open with fine mesh to prevent the primates from entering.
7) Schools , Hospitals establishments & apartments in the vicinity must be sensitized
to strictly not ,waste food and feed primates directly or indirectly .
8) Feeding primates by animal lover’s / religious minded people should be discouraged.
9) Be armed with a stick while using the terrace.
10) Lock your fridge during the primate visiting hours.
11) Do not show your teeth to the primate, you are indirectly challenging the primate.
12) Do not run away from primates. as they know you are not its food , the primates just want to socialize.
13) Stand still if a primate sits on your head he will clear your hairs off lice.
14) We have put the primates in to this habit of eating from our fridge rather than eating from trees and we must take them off this habit .
15) We need to increase the green cover and give them back their food and habitat.
16) Initially for a few month it will be difficult, but after a few days the menace will start coming down .
17) The issue has to be dealt with instead of transferring the issue to other places.
18) Monkeys are basically moving groups and will not stay in particular area.
19) Fruits & vegetable sellers should dispose off their waste carefully.
20) Manganindha Manava , so please do not be surprised to see them mating, playing etc.
Courtesy : Sharath Babu .R in 2010.