Locals in a village in Uttar Pradesh's Shahjahanpur district have devised a novel way to drive away monkeys, with some of them dressing up as bears. The problem of monkeys at Sikandarpur Afghan village under Jalalabad tehsil became so rampant that it figured during a recent tehsil diwas programme, which is organised by the district administration to resolve grievances of the people.
The affected villagers have complained that monkeys have damaged crops, taken away edible items from their homes and even bitten some children.
To solve the issue, two youth have been tasked with wearing bear costumes to go around the village and shoo away the simians.
Locals also claimed that monkeys are fearful of bears and more than half of the primate population in the village has fled the place, as a result.
Ashok Kushwaha, a resident of the village said, "Almost an year ago, a complaint was registered with officials. At the time, a team of forest department officials came and talks were held with a Mathura-based firm to catch the monkeys at the rate of Rs 300 per monkey."
Yet, the plan could not materialise as the number of monkeys was quite high, he added.
The forest department, however, has a different view.
District Forest Officer Adarsh Kumar told PTI, "Nobody is catching the monkeys. They are only driving them away by dressing as bears. So far, no complaint has been registered to catch monkeys."
He added that permission to catch the monkeys will be issued if any complaint is made.