The MCG, animal activists allege, is out of its depth when it comes to the capture of stray monkeys in the city. It had to allot the daunting task to multiple agencies, but none worked out well. This time — third in the last 12 months — it has hired the services of Jaipur-based Gargi Animal Care and Control Service Provider.
The animals, after being captured in a humane manner, will undergo mandatory health check-up. The MCG team will then, under the watch of wildlife department officials, release the animals in the outskirts of the city.
Earlier, the MCG had hired a Mathura-based expert in January to catch monkeys in a humane manner. However, in February, it cancelled the contract of an animal rescue agency, acting on a complaint of animal cruelty filed by animal rights activist Nikhil Mahesh.
Animal rights activists have been raising the issue of cruel treatment of monkeys during the process of capture.
Also, MCG officials had said that capturing monkeys would be recorded on camera and videos and photos of the same would be taken to ensure that animals are not harmed during the process — but this has not happened in reality.
Commenting on the matter, Nikhil Mahesh, founder of Umeed for Animals Foundation, said, “The MCG hires young kids from Mathura who are not trained and use cruel ways to capture monkeys. For the last one year, the MCG has been talking about videography, but nothing has been done. No one records the videos and there is no monitoring of the process. Moreover, they have no place to confine the animals. The animals are eventually released in areas where there is no food and they are bound to return.”
One MCG official claimed, “Most of the monkey catchers came from Mathura and would look for excuses to go back home. These people worked intermittently — hampering the whole system.”
According to the civic body’s estimate, there are over 20,000 monkeys in the city.
Several instances of monkey attack have been reported from residential areas close to the Aravallis.