The Bagmati River slum in Nepal was selected as a suitable site for the research team’s rodent sampling program. “The people are more vulnerable here because their shelters are so makeshift,” explains Priya Joshi, the project field manager. “There is nothing concrete. They are exposed to the wildlife. Rodents can go directly into their house[s]. There’s no protection for them.”
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“These temple sites are a perfect example of how monkeys and humans live together in such high densities,” says Dr. Tierra Smiley Evans, who has come to Nepal to train local field scientists in non-invasive techniques of collecting saliva from the monkeys living in these areas.