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Feeding monkeys in Sikkim will invite a fine of Rs 5,000

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GANGTOK, Aug 23: The Sikkim government’s Forest,
Environment and Wildlife department has said that feeding of
monkeys or improper disposal of food waste will be treated as
an offence and violators will be fined Rs 5,000.
It said that monkey (Macaque species) is a protected species,
and feeding it is strictly prohibited under the Wildlife
(Protection) Act, 1972 and the Environment (Protection) Act
1986.
The Chief Wildlife Warden of Sikkim, Sandeep Tambe in a public
notice dated August 19 said “This is to highlight an important
matter that concerns the safety and well-being of all of us.
Human feeding of monkeys (Macaque species) and improper

management of food waste has resulted in unnatural growth in
their population.
“As a result, residents in urban and rural areas are faced with
increased instances of human-monkey conflict, which has now
grown into a public health and safety issue. It is essential to
recognize that feeding them and improperly disposing food
waste process risks and concerns.”
The notice also said that monkeys fed by humans lose their
sense of fear and have now learnt to “associate food with
people” and they are attracted and slowly become aggressive.
Monkeys are wild animals and their behaviour can be
unpredictable, feeding them encourages them to approach
humans, increasing the risk of bites or injuries, especially to
women and children. Also, transmission of zoonotic disease
from primates to humans and vice versa is another risk.
Feeding monkeys can create an unsanitary environment,
leading to the accumulation of waste and attracting pests,
which can adversely affect the hygiene, the notice said.
It said when food becomes readily available, instead of
spending their time foraging in forests, these macaques visit
offices, homes, religious places, supermarkets and shops
hoping to get food from humans.

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Human food products are calorie-rich and an easily digestible
source of food, however, these foods elevate stress levels and
increase inter-group aggression. Hence, providing food to
monkeys can disrupt their natural feeding patterns and
behaviour. (PTI)

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