Monkey life in Delhi

If you have ever travelled to India you will agree with me that the strangest of things make it a special place. There is probably no other capital city in the world where monkeys walk around as freely as people. Alongside the “holy” cow, we in India have tremendous respect for monkeys, especially because they are seen as an embodiment of our God Hanuman — a monkey God from the epic Ramayana.

However these days, as about 5000 wild monkeys roam the streets of Delhi, jump onto trains and swing off residence balconies, enter homes and steal food from the fridge (!) — they have become an intolerable menace. Recently, the capital’s mayor died as he fell from his balcony while he was fending off some simians who attacked him.

To fix this problem, other than punishing people who feed the monkeys and encourage them to interact with humans, Delhi has hired tribal monkey catchers from Madurai in Southern India to capture and relocate the estimated 20,000 monkeys from the capital — budget Rs.10 million.

The monkeys are trapped harmlessly by luring them into a cage and locking them in, once inside. They are then sent to a monkey shelter in the south of Delhi. Here’s a clip from NDTV — the capital’s news channel — that gives you a glimpse into monkey life in the city.