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Archive for Thursday, October 12, 2006

300 monkeys to be removed from capital

October 12, 2006

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— The Supreme Court ordered wildlife authorities to catch hundreds of monkeys that roam the Indian capital, often terrorizing residents, and relocate them thousands of miles away, a newspaper reported Wednesday.

The roughly 300 Rhesus macaques will be shifted from New Delhi to the dense jungles of Madhya Pradesh state, whose government will receive $54,000 from the federal government to cover the cost of reintroducing the monkeys to the wild, the Hindu reported.

Government buildings, temples and many residential neighborhoods of New Delhi are overrun by an army of macaques. The monkeys scare passers-by, and occasionally bite or snatch food from unsuspecting visitors.

For years, state animal welfare agencies have tried to rid the capital of the simian scourge, but their efforts have been defeated, in part, by Hindus who believe that monkeys are manifestations of the monkey god Hanuman.

Many feed the monkeys nuts, bread and bananas, encouraging the animals to frequent parks, temples and other public places.

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