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India to start administering birth control to frisky monkeys

- The Washington Times - Monday, November 18, 2013

Wildlife officials in India are planning to put the country's rising monkey population on birth control to tackle the growing menace in its towns and cities, The Telegraph in Great Britain reported.

Thousands of red-bottomed rhesus macaques or bandar monkeys currently prowl the streets of New Delhi. Until earlier this year, officials deployed larger, black-faced langur monkeys to scare away the macaques, but that practice was banned.

The Wildlife Institute of India now is exploring ways to administer contraceptives to the monkeys.

Monkeys that can be caught will be sterilized while oral contraceptives will be put in food left for those primates that remain at large, The Telegraph reported.

Professor P.C. Tyagi of the institute said he and his colleagues would move forward with the plans when they are sure the practice won't harm the animals.

"The population is increasing in the cities, they are causing a disturbance. People can't come out of their houses, they're taking clothes, biting people," he said. "One of the main advantages [of oral contraception] is that it is non-surgical. We'll look at how it works in other countries, carry out a trial, then we'll go ahead. If there are problems with the dosage, we'd need to work that out."

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