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AIIMS seeks figures to counter monkey menace on campus

New Delhi: AIIMS administration has asked veterinary physicians at its animal facility to conduct a community count of monkeys on the campus of the premier institute in a bid to find a solution to the simian menace there which is proving to be a matter of grave concern.

According to a senior AIIMS official, a report in this regard will be submitted to the zoo authorities to enable effective measures to be taken for dealing with the alarming situation.

There have been recent reports of residents and staff of AIIMS being bitten and mauled by the monkeys.

"Veterinary physicians at the animal facility have been asked to conduct the community count of monkeys.

"The move is necessitated by the fact that even if one member of a community of monkeys is left behind in a particular area from where the remaining members of the group have been ousted, then the problem may get aggravated.

"Separation from their communities may cause the monkeys to turn aggressive," said a senior doctor at AIIMS citing research.

"The monkeys usually come in troops of 40-50 and cause trouble. Since they are so many of them, they prove uncontrollable. They harass people by snatching food and other items from them and roam around in the wards, creating a nuisance. They also rummage through the dustbins for food and litter the surrounding area," said the doctor.

As per the law, the hospital administration cannot drive the monkeys out from the campus in the absence of arrangements for their rehabilitation, unless they leave on their own.

Meanwhile, one doctor said that the monkey menace appeared on the campus after the simians were first brought to the institute for research activities.

"After the research gets over, the monkeys are released. But they never leave the premises and habituate themselves with the surroundings," added the doctor.

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