TODAY -

Monkeys seen on the streets of Imphal,
the State needs to take care of the plights of the animals.

Ringo Pebam *

 Two monkeys were seen walking on Tiddim Road in the morning of 24th May 2020
Two monkeys were seen walking on Tiddim Road in the morning of 24th May 2020 :: Photo - Ringo Pebam



At around 5:45 AM today (24th May 2020) morning, I saw two monkeys walking on the Keishampat to Kwakeithel stretch of Tiddim road.

The monkeys must have gotten out of Mahabali Temple or the groves of the Mahabali forest by the bank of Imphal River.

I called up instantly to volunteers of People for Animal, Manipur, asking if they can do something to help the monkeys get back to where they have come from. They said they can't do much as they don't have the tranquilizer gun, and the monkeys can't be caught easily with 'net' as they are too intelligent.

I went ahead from the monkeys and informed the policemen stationed at Kwakeithel junction to see if they could do anything. They said they would inform their officer in charge.

I came back to the monkeys and accompanied them from a distance. I was worried if the dogs on the roadside would attack the monkeys. However, most of the dogs on the road ran away seeing the monkeys.

 A dog was seen walking away seeing the monkeys coming at Tiddim Road on the morning of 24th May 2020
A dog was seen walking away seeing the monkeys coming at Tiddim Road on the morning of 24th May 2020 :: Photo - Ringo Pebam



Along with me there was a concerned passer-by. He said he used to frequent Mahabali temple (from where the monkeys must have come) every Tuesday, and used to feed the monkeys. But with the lockdown, he hasn't been going frequently as before, but went once last Tuesday and most of the monkeys were seen unfed and starved.

It is a known fact that the devotees, who used to go to Mahabali temple and feed the monkeys, now no more venture out now to the temple to offer food to the monkeys, due to the ongoing Covid-19 lockdown.

By the time the monkeys and I reached Kwakeithel junction, the two policemen said they had informed their higher-ups over their wireless radio sets, but couldn't do much. The policemen got some banana and fed the monkeys as they kept going to the west of Tiddim road, further away from Mahabli Temple/ forest from where they must come.

 The monkeys at Kwakeithel junction in the morning of 24th May 2020
The monkeys at Kwakeithel junction in the morning of 24th May 2020 :: Photo - Ringo Pebam



My questions that arise are:

The Board of the Mahabali Temple must be having funds for food for the monkeys. Aren't the caretakers in charge utilizing the fund properly to feed the monkeys of late? Or are they not able to go out to buy food for the monkeys? Or are they short of funds now? Or the monkeys at the temple solely rely on the food offered by the devotees?

At last saw the two monkeys heading west on Tiddim road from Kwakeithel junction, and they were walking on the main road only. They must have gone pass Airport, Malom etc. I wonder where they must have ended.

If they had entered residential areas on either side of Tiddim roads they will be shooed away, or even killed. If they had crossed the humane habitat part of Tiddim road, it's paddy fields all along the long stretch. Forest isn’t nearby along the long Tiddim road.

My concern is for their safety. My concern is about where they will end up.

 The monkeys at Kwakeithel junction in the morning of 24th May 2020
The monkeys at Kwakeithel junction in the morning of 24th May 2020 :: Photo - Ringo Pebam



Any concerned authority listening?

I don't think the monkeys were taking a pleasant stroll in the human habitat area. They must have come out from the Mahabali Temple/ forest in search of food.

This, I believe is coronavirus pandemic’s effect on animals; this should draw the general public’s awareness of the animals' plight.

I want to remind the Manipur government of the directives given by the Centre regarding animals amid the Covid-19 lockdown.

In a letter addressed to all chief secretaries dated 23rd March, the Centre said, “It is requested that veterinary hospitals and dispensaries in the state, including private veterinary clinics, veterinary pathologies, animal shelters etc. function in the normal course and the veterinary services be considered in the list of ‘Essential Services’.”

 The monkeys at Kwakeithel junction in the morning of 24th May 2020
The monkeys at Kwakeithel junction in the morning of 24th May 2020 :: Photo - Ringo Pebam



On the same day, the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) also wrote another letter to all chief secretaries of states and UTs, “It is requested to kindly issue necessary direction to all concerned authorities to create awareness amongst the public to take care of stray animals during the lock down due to COVID-19. The law enforcement authorities may also be directed to see that the animals and birds do not suffer due to hunger.”

I request the concerned authorities of Manipur government to look into the plight of the animals who are suffering due to hunger.

 The monkeys at Kwakeithel junction in the morning of 24th May 2020
The monkeys at Kwakeithel junction in the morning of 24th May 2020 :: Photo - Ringo Pebam



There are also initiatives the animal lovers clubs (if there are any) and supporters of animals’ rights can take up to feed the animals.

I think every citizen should also show their support towards stray animals during the current crisis. It’s also our responsibility to come out and help or feed the animals who are starving in the ongoing coronavirus lockdown.


* Ringo Pebam wrote this article for e-pao.net
The writer can be reached at ringo(DOT)p(AT)gmail(DOT)com
This article was posted on May 25, 2020.


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