Tourists’ pampering of monkeys and langurs in National Park Betla has made these species ‘indecent’ and ‘rude’ in their behaviour. Tourists taking liberty with these wild life is most undesirable said sources. Tourists specially children offer them bananas and biscuits and these species lap it up most fondly but thereafter indulge in causing discomfort and inconvenience to the tourists.
Betla ranger of Palamu tiger reserve Prem Prasad said “ We keep asking and reminding our esteemed tourists to keep at bay from monkeys and langurs but it is invariably seen tourists try to give them bananas etc and this causes a lot of problems to both.”
He agreed this is misadventurism and no love for wild life rather putting wild life to risks. Sources said when Rakhi a baby elephant was rescued about four or five years back a good number of tourists gave her lots of bananas to eat which resulted in her constipation and cramp in the belly and she was put on laxatives.
One chief secretary of Jharkhand Sajal Chakarvorty was so fond of this Rakhi that he fed Raklhi with 6 bananas only to make her restless with her stomach for the whole day.
It was then only that Betla park officials strictly restricted private feeding of this Rakhi. Ranger said “ There is so far no noticeable incident of any monkey assault but snatching of eatables from hands by them is quite common.” Wild Life Protection Act strictly forbids any food sharing of tourists with any wild life. Ranger admitted the monkeys and langurs apart from disturbing tourists tamper with huge solar plates installed in the outer periphery of the park where is situated director’s lodge.
“ These do trapeze with the panels and that often go out of order and we are to get it repaired” said Prem Prasad. Ranger claimed there is an enormous population of deer now in the park and he put this number to 5,000 to which the Pioneer asked him to be cock sure of this number when the ranger again repeated “ It is 5000 deer now.”
Deer are attraction for tourists but 5 calves ( read baby elephants) are the star attraction for the tourists. National Park Betla has now more than one and a half dozen of elephants. Equal number is of the bison here. There is a great rush of tourists here now added the ranger saying “ There came a few foreigner tourists here in Betla to go around the park before October 1 and as the park remains closed till September 30 and entry of tourists Indian or foreigner remains banned for three months beginning July these foreigners were advised to visit Palamu Quilla instead of the park and they did it and spend their jolly good time there trying to understand the history of Raja Medini Rai ” told the ranger. On an average 200 plus tourists ( read visitors) are reaching Betla a day.
Ranjit K Singh a professional here said “ I rush to Betla late in Saturday evening to spend my night in any room of the hotel there and spend Sunday watching the bountiful nature there.” Sources said young boys and girls too come, book room for an hour or so and then disappear from the scene.
Betla is for all - lover, jilted lover, tired and exhausted professional, women who want a break from the drudgery of kitchen and Nature interpreters etc. Sources said an IFS on training Banker Ajinke is staying put in forest rest house of Betla where tourists entry is not allowed said sources.
Asked that there is water problem in Tree House in Betla and tourists’ taste of enjoyment gets lessened ranger Prasad said “ Whenever problems arise it is taken care of.”