Never Look a Monkey in the Eye
New Delhi, India has a serious monkey problem. Rhesus macaques have taken over the city. And no, I'm not joking. I'm not even exaggerating. A gang of monkeys recently raided the city’s police headquarters. Mean-spirited macaques wait outside of hospitals and attack patients for their IV fluids. Others can be spotted bathing their infants in New Delhi’s fountains or even taking rides on the subway.
And then, just when the citizens of one of the largest cities on Earth thought the problem couldn't get any worse . . . their deputy mayor was murdered by monkeys. In October, four of the beasts attacked Sawinder Singh Bajwa while he sat reading the paper on his balcony. As he tried to drive them away, he lost his balance and fell over the side.
Yet despite everything, monkeys are still free to frolic through the palaces and parks. Most of New Delhi’s residents are Hindus, and their religion prevents them from harming the animals. In fact twice a week, followers of the monkey god, Hanuman, still gather to feed the creatures.
Meanwhile, the city's only official monkey catcher has quit in despair. The rich have begun hiring private monkey catchers who use bigger, meaner monkeys to frighten the macaques. (Not long ago, they tried this same approach in New Delhi's subways. The results were disastrous.)
Until the monkey problem can be solved, officials offer one piece of advice to the people of New Delhi. If you don't want to be attacked, "never look a monkey in the eye."
Read more here and here.
(Above: Photo by Manpreet Romana for Agence France-Presse. Below: The Hindu monkey god, Hanuman.)