Monkey is locally known as “Bandar”, a dry-nosed tree-dweller primate, living in both jungle and within human habitation. A good number of mythological folktales are found about the Bandar that enriched the literature (Lankan Myth, and Baburnama better known as Tuzk-e Babri) and theosophy including Hinduism, Buddhism and so on. A conviction hold by the strong-willed evolutionists and zoologists, the Phylogeny of living primates were the prototype of human being and hence, they love to coexist beside their prehistoric ancestor!
Dhamrai, an outskirt on the capital Dhaka is an ideal habitation for a good number of primates, the visitors and tourists will be spell bound at the first encounter by the wild inhabitants. Though there is no sign of woods, the geographical position and the environment provides opportunities for having a great diversity of habitats for the monkeys. At least 400 hundred monkeys are existing here, and when from the primates have been living here is still hotly debated. “The animals are existing here from the time immemorial and I’m seeing these arboreal since my coming day here in Dhamrai about 65 years ago”, opined Mr Kaliprada Das, a 90 year old Tabala maker.
Two species of monkey notably the wild ‘Toque Macaque’, and ‘Strepsirrhine’ (wet-nosed) primates are found here commonly to roam about. They are seen to live within a troop, collectively known as a clan, scratching louse, feeding baboons carrying under the breasts, snatching the vegetables swiftly and swallow them with a heavy resting like a meditating Buddha. However, the arboreal may not be counted as a well-wisher at a first glance, but they are the unsaid catalyst to keep the ecological balance.
Surprisingly, no initiative has been chalked out yet to survey about the animal by the Upazila Livestock Centre, even the records and statistics go unnoticed by the Department of Statistics of the Upazila for a long period. However, the Upazila administration to save the primates, meanwhile, has taken an initiative and allotted 6 tons wheat every year that is insufficient against the number, opined Dhamrai Upazila Vice-Chairman Md Mohaddes Hossen.
The number of the monkeys has been decreasing with the passage of time as several money-monger miscreants hunt them through poisonous food, anti-monkey drives by the locals to save the extensive damage of commercial and subsistence crops, unprotected electric transformer, dumping of toxic waste and so forth are liable for their extinction as well. The environmentalists urge the government to take necessary measures as early as possible to save the tree-dwellers from extinction to make the area for a green-living.
Abdullah-Al-Musayeb, Comilla Universi