Thimphu, August 9: An awareness campaign on feeding wild animals along the highways was organised at Gangkha (2km from Chunzom, Thimphu-Phuentsholing highway), Thimphu-Paro highway and Rinchending check post. It was organised by the Department of Forests and Park Services jointly with Royal Bhutan Police and Road Safety Transport Authority.
The campaign educated the road users on feeding of wild animal especially monkey and its consequences. Monkey feeding is a growing problem in many areas of Bhutan mainly along the highways and it is leading into a human wildlife conflict. Monkey feeding endangers both human and monkey. It adversely alters the natural behaviour of monkeys as it makes them reliant on humans for food. Such monkeys become too familiar with humans and this result in their nuisance and at times aggressive behaviour towards people, especially children. Monkey feeding also results in an unhealthy growth of its population and straying out of the natural habitat into residential areas.
During the campaign, the team covered 1899 people and 501 vehicles at three different locations.
The field offices under the Department will continue to create awareness followed by placing of signages at strategic locations. After conducting a series of awareness campaign, if people still feed the wild animals, the Department will start imposing penalty as per the Forests and Nature Conservation Rules and Regulations (FNCRR) of Bhutan 2017 under which feeding wild animal is an offence.
Submitted by Nature Conservation Division
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