The residents of JB Nagar at Andheri have complained to forest officials about the menace of monkeys in their residential complex, adding that they have been unable to complete their daily chores in the past three days as three monkeys have created chaos within the complex by swinging on trees and entering residents’ homes. And to add to their misery, forest officials are in no mood to entertain their complaints, claiming that they do not have adequately trained staff.

Primate problems
“I thought they won’t be able to reach as high as the seventh floor. But on Friday morning, I was shocked when I saw two of them in my hall, sitting on my sofa with the TV remotes in their mouth,” said 45-year-old Anju Varma, a resident of Mistry Compound.

According to the residents, the monkeys were first spotted at the municipal playground adjacent to the residential area. They are believed to have travelled from Sanjay Gandhi National Park to Aarey Milk Colony and, finally, to JB Nagar. Residents of the complex, which houses 160 flats, have had their pots and crockery broken and fruits stolen by the monkeys.

Firecrackers keep animals at bay?
However, when the residents contacted the Thane Forest department on Friday, an official stated that they do not have staff members equipped to handle monkeys and, in turn, suggested that the residents approach a private party. When they did contact a professional to deal with the monkeys, he demanded an amount of Rs 5,000 per monkey. “The total amount will come up to a whopping R15,000. It’s sad that the forest department is not helping us,” Varma added.

As the menace only increased, the residents called up the forest department again and this time, officials suggested that they burst firecrackers to get rid of the stray primates. They also claimed that monkeys do not remain in a particular place for more than three days.

However, when contacted, Anil Todarmal, range forest officer, from the Thane Forest Department said, “Monkeys are often noticed in residential areas. So what? Just because they are spotted doesn’t mean they have to be captured. They will go away on their own if you shoo them away. The residents should not feed the monkeys. I’ll also inform my officials to look into this matter again.”