Monkeys at Pashupatinath area starving

Kathmandu, June 19

Pashupati Area Development Trust has sought help for arrangement of clean drinking water and food for monkeys inhabiting in and around the Pashupatinath temple area.

With pollution in the Bagmati River rendering the water undrinkable, these monkeys are facing a tough time as there  is no alternative source of water nearby.

PADT member secretary Govinda Tandan said PADT recently held several meetings and discussions with various agencies and organisations to explore ways to manage food and water for monkeys living in the Pashupatinath temple area and its vicinity, but of no avail.

“PADT is seeking any type of support for these monkeys as they are facing shortage of drinking water and food,” he said.

He informed that there were around 600 monkeys in the Pashupati area. A monkey eats, in average, 200 grams of seasonal fruit and beans, he said, adding that food shortage has hit monkeys inhabiting Bishworupa, Bankali, Kailash and Guheshwori temple areas in the vicinity of Pashupatinath temple.

Previously, there were complaints about these monkeys harassing pilgrims and others in the temple area. The PADT had earlier conducted a study in response to an interim order issued by the Supreme Court that the board act on the havoc caused by the monkeys.

The study showed that the  monkeys did not cause nuisance for pilgrims, but only ran from one place to another in search of food and water. The study also found that the monkeys that were drinking the polluted water of the Bagmati River were losing weight.

PADT had set up six water pots, each carrying 2.5 litres of water, for the monkeys of Bhandarkhal and the vicinity in May. Monkeys of Pashupatinath face severe water scarcity during dry season every year. Apart from pollution, receding water levels in the Bagmati River is causing water shortage in the temple area.

According to wildlife expert Mukesh Kumar Chalise, the best way to resolve the problem will be to control pollution in the Bagmati River.