Friday, May 25, 2012

Monkey Business in India

This story about monkeys more or less taking over Delhi is so sad to the extent that it is borderline funny. OK, not in a humorous way, but in a tragic way. Here is the extract:
The monkey population of Delhi has grown so large and aggressive that overwhelmed city officials have petitioned India’s Supreme Court to relieve them of the task of monkey control. 
“We have trapped 13,013 monkeys since 2007,” said R. B. S. Tyagi, director of veterinary services for Delhi’s principal city government. Nonetheless, Delhi’s monkey population has only increased. 
The reason is simple: People feed them. Monkeys are the living representatives of the cherished Hindu god Hanuman, and Hindu tradition calls for feeding monkeys on Tuesdays and Saturdays.

Roopi Saran, a Delhi resident, has seen monkeys steal candy from the hands of her children. And tribes of monkeys often take over her yard, preventing her and her children from venturing outside. 
“So we sit inside our house like caged animals, like we’re the ones in the zoo and they’re the owners outside looking at us,” Ms. Saran said. 
With the city’s trapping program a failure, some residents are getting a bigger monkey, a langur, to urinate around their homes. The acrid smell of the urine scares the smaller rhesus monkeys away for weeks. But the odor is no bouquet for humans, either, and as soon as it disappears, the rhesus monkeys return.
Amar Singh, a langur handler, was sitting across the street recently from one of his langurs in Delhi’s diplomatic neighborhood while his monkey systematically stripped the leaves off a tree in the yard of well-tended home. The langur, a large monkey with a black face dramatically framed by white fur, was tied to a pole with a six-foot leash. Mr. Singh cautioned against getting anywhere near the animal because “a langur’s slap is so hard, it can send its target back by five feet.
Langur = Badass