Gaighat, April 15
Monkeys have turned out to be a scourge for locals in a number of places in Udayapur lately.
The problem has worsened in the past two weeks in about a dozen villages including Khanbu, Dahar and Khubhinde in the hilly areas where monkeys from nearby forests are said to be attacking people and destroying crops.
“As monkeys are even attacking humans, people are afraid to walk alone. When they are at home, they shut themselves inside,” said Triyuga ward Chair Nir Bahadur Magar. “Though incidents of monkeys harassing locals is common, we had hardly seen them attacking people and going on such a rampage,” said Magar, adding “As the problem was beyond people’s control, it had to be reported to the administration.”
On his part, Division Forest Office Gaighat Information Officer Gajeshwor Sah linked the recent scourge of monkey menace to the loss of their natural habitat due to wildfires
and deforestation. “As their natural habitat has been lost due to increasing deforestation and wildfires, they have encroached human settlements,” he said.
“Recent data shows that around 10,000 hectare forest land spread over 60 community forests were destroyed in wildfires. A large number of wildlife has been displaced from the forest areas, thereby forcing them to enter human settlements,” he said.
Further, Sah informed that his office was preparing to implement some programmes to help simians return to the forest.
“We have corresponded with the ministry for plantation of different species of the monkeys’ favourite grass in Triyuga, Chaudandigadhi and Belaka municipalities,” Sah said.
It is important to note that four persons had lost their lives and more than 20 persons were injured in the district in the past one year due to bear, wild boar and elephant attacks.
A version of this article appears in print on April 16, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.