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The Indian forests are vanishing, and the monkeys are not happy about it:

NEW DELHI - In a capital city where cows roam the streets and elephants plod along in the bus lanes, it's no surprise to find government buildings overrun with monkeys.

But the officials who work there are fed up. They've been bitten, robbed and otherwise tormented by monkeys that ransack files, bring down power lines, screech at visitors and bang on office windows.

The Supreme Court has stepped in, decreeing that New Delhi should be a monkey-free city after citizens filed a lawsuit demanding protection from the animals.

Easier said than done. A past initiative to scare off the army of Rhesus macaques with ultrahigh frequency loudspeakers didn't work. A plan to deport them to distant regions has stalled because local governments refused to have them.

There's an ape patrol of fierce-looking primates called langurs, led about on leashes by keepers. But whenever a langur looms, the pink-faced, two-foot-tall hooligans simply move elsewhere on government grounds.


"It's a big problem, especially in the evening," says Defense Ministry spokesman Amitabha Chakrabarti. Monkeys break into offices at night and paw through the files looking for food, he said. "Those who work late hours have to be careful when it is dark."

Replies: 2 Confessions

Stay away from monkey!

jima @ 11/03/2003 08:29 AM CST

we had something similar in my hometown, when they cleared the trees on the side of a mountain to build a ski resort. only we had bears. monkeys are scarier than bears, though.

liz @ 11/05/2003 11:22 AM CST

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