Too Much Monkey Business Leads to Monkey Vasectomies


A veterinarian places a monkey on the table for sterilization inside an operation theatre at a monkey rescue centre run by forest and wildlife department Tutikandi in Shimla

Too Much Monkey BusinessReuters/Mukesh Gupta

A rhesus macaque awaits a vasectomy at a wildlife rescue facility in Himachal Pradesh, India. The state's estimated 319,000 monkeys frequently ransack garbage cans and harass citizens. Last year, the state government announced a bounty of 500 rupees ($9.50) to anyone who captured and transported a monkey to a sterilization center, and program administrators estimate that they will neuter 200,000 monkeys, at 25 sterilization centers statewide, by June.

Sterilization initiatives for troublemaking monkeys aren't unprecedented. In 2002, Hong Kong began a similar program, but the city's conservation department soon discovered that the local macaques were difficult to catch—the animals learned to elude traps and decoys. Still, veterinary staffers were able to sterilize more than 1,500 monkeys, and nuisance calls about them dropped from a peak of 1,400 in 2006 to fewer than 200 in recent years.