Shahjahanpur (Uttar Pradesh), Jan 29 (IANS) Using bears to shoo away monkeys may seem to be an odd idea but residents of Sikandarpur village in the district, apparently, had no choice.
With over 2,000 monkeys creating ruckus and disturbing life in the village and the forest officials turning a convenient blind eye to the issue, the villagers decided to solve the problem on their own.
Two of the residents, dressed up as bears, began moving around the village to scare away the monkeys.
Village head Ram Lalit Verma, told local reporters, “We have now started taking turns in wearing the bear costume and roaming around the village. It was a relative who had told me about the idea and it is actually working.”
The villagers pulled in money and bought three bear costumes from a makeup artist for Rs 1,700 each.
It has been a few days since the bear scare began and the number of monkey attacks has already come down. Earlier, about 150 children had been attacked by monkeys in the village that has a population of about 5,200.
Shahjahanpur sub-divisional forest officer M.N. Singh said, “The monkey population is increasing rapidly in the district. We are unable to do much because of lack of funds. Catching a monkey costs nearly Rs 600 and we had called a rescue team from Mathura when we got the fund since 2018. At present, we can only grant permission to people to catch monkeys on their own or through some NGO and we will help them release the monkeys in forest areas.”
Singh said that he would soon visit Sikandarpur village and check if this bear trick is really working and would even suggest similar action in other villages.