Wildlife experts have advised citizens to avoid feeding monkeys while strolling along the Margalla Hills National Park (MHNP)’s hiking trails and its vicinity to avoid being attacked.
The Islamabad Wildlife Management Board (IWMB) spokesperson said in a statement on Thursday that in a very rare incident, a female monkey attacked an IWMB official at Trail-4.
“Monkeys have their food or prey readily available in their natural habitat and do not require an artificial diet to survive,” he said, adding that when citizens offer food to monkeys makes the animal dependent on them and as a consequence, it retaliates if someone does not offer food.
He said that the IWMB has been creating awareness on the matter through social media portals and media briefs.
The spokesperson said that the masses need to shun the practice of feeding wildlife species in the national park.
There are enough species available to the monkeys and they can survive much better by feeding on them.
He added that a few days back, a female Asian common leopard nicknamed ‘Shezadi’ was also spotted at Trails IV and VI.
Due to enough preys such as wild boars, green pheasants, and barking deer, the leopard has been spotted using camera traps installed in the national park.
The statement emphasized masses to avoid venturing into the national park after sunset and to leave the trails half an hour before the stipulated time as a safety measure.
The official noted that they have installed 18 camera traps at various locations of the park, but only eight of them are fully functional. Eight more cameras have been installed at different places for effective monitoring.
Meanwhile, Pakistan Wildlife Foundation Vice-President, Safwan Ahmed, informed that people strolling in the trails should refrain from offering food to monkeys and wear some perfume or deodorant to prevent monkey attacks.
“A fragrance is an unperceived odor for monkeys, which they consider a threat and, therefore, flee in fear,” he advised.
He also suggested that people who are irked by monkeys breaking into their houses in the sectors adjoining the National Park should apply air freshener on their walls to keep the monkeys away.