Solution eludes monkey menace at Dambulla

Some members of the world famous monkey clan, the Toque Macaques, inhabiting the Dambulla cave Temple have become more than a nuisance to visitors. Losing all inhibitions the monkeys pester visitors for food. Sometimes they boldly grab food from the visitors’ hands snarling at them in the process. Some visitors say they have been bitten while others say they have to hold on to their belongings.

A monkey on top of the electric wire

The monkeys are attracted to the many vendors who sell fruits such as pineapple, mango, and snacks like peanuts to visitors who climb the Dambulla rock. Visitors complain that there are no signs warning unsuspecting visitors of the mischievous monkeys who suddenly appear and grab things from their hands.

Dr. Wolfgang Dittus who has done extensive research on the Toque Macaques said the root of the problem can be traced to visitors feeding the monkeys.

“If there is no food the monkeys will stop harassing the visitors. The problem could be resolved by banning vendors at the site from selling food items and visitors from bringing food. But authorities are reluctant to take such measures because they fear a ban would affect the livelihood of the vendors. Besides, feeding the animal is regarded as a meritorious act in the local culture. All this shows that the monkey-human conflict will only get worse,” Dr. Dittus said.

In a move to curtail the monkey menace, the authorities have electrified the top portion of the wire mesh at the Peak of Dambulla rock. This has only some limited success in preventing the monkeys from entering the caves because some visitors continue to feed the monkeys through the lower part of the wire mesh.

Experts say the best way to deal with the crisis is to educate both the visitors and vendors on the human monkey conflict.

Top to the page  |  E-mail  |  views[1]
SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend
Other News Articles
India reacts strongly to Govt’s houses claim
Record deaths of migrant workers in 2010
Wide legal powers for Namal’s movement
65 MPs earn millions from sale of vehicle permits
LLRC invites Ranil to explain CFA
Ministry circular: We stand by our story fully
Piecing together Lanka’s biggest peace-time robbery
Healthy bag at unhealthy prices
Solution eludes monkey menace at Dambulla
Onions, coconuts and the politics of taste in S.Asia
The ‘pol polima’
Tsunami still a nightmare for many
Rizana’s fate in the hands of victim’s father: AFLEA
Hakka patas inserted in vegetables brings slow, painful death to elephants
Imported chicken, eggs, c’nuts to cost the same
‘Pirates got on board and sprayed the ship with bullets’
Kelaniya Uni students say hostel issues not solved
More than a million consumers to be hit by high electricity bills


Reproduction of articles permitted when used without any alterations to contents and a link to the source page.
© Copyright 2010 | Wijeya Newspapers Ltd.Colombo. Sri Lanka. All Rights Reserved.| Site best viewed in IE ver 6.0 @ 1024 x 768 resolution