A shop with metal meshes to protect the items from monkeys in Syanagunta village near Gudiyattam.
A shop with metal meshes to protect the items from monkeys in Syanagunta village near Gudiyattam.

Monkey menace irks Syanagunta villagers

Though the Forest Department check post is located within the panchayat limits, forest officials are helpless in this matter.

VELLORE: Syanagunta, a small village on the Tamil Nadu-Andhra Pradesh border, faces a big problem in the form of monkeys.

The menace is so serious that all residents have fixed metal meshes to all the doors and windows in their houses.

Syanagunta, located around 50 km from Vellore on Gudiyattam–Paradarami Road surrounded by forests is just 2 km from Andhra Pradesh and that is where the problem lies.

The menace snowballed into a big issue a few days ago when residents blocked the road after a two-year-old child was bitten by a monkey.

“It has become permanent problem and forest officials are yet to take steps to curb the simian menace. Even if the monkeys are caught and released deep inside the forests, they return after some time,” says Anandan, brother of panchayat president Munusamy.

Though the Forest Department check post is located within the panchayat limits, forest officials are helpless in this matter.

A forest official, who spoke to DT Next on condition of anonymity said, “After the road roko by residents, we caught 63 monkeys and released them some distance away. But, two days later they were chased back into Tamil Nadu by villagers from Andhra Pradesh residing close to the border.”

As the monkeys frequently enter houses looking for food, “residents keep the doors closed and when somebody knocks, they open the doors only after confirming that there are no monkeys around,” said Babu of the village.

Boopalan, a shop owner, said, “We cannot keep our doors closed, we have put up metal meshes around the shelves in our shops. The monkeys even take away paste, powder, oil sachets.”

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