Kavya’s India Series Part 1: Monkey business is a growing concern in India
Kavya, a Year 6 Young Journalist based at Burgh School, has family roots in India and the highlight of her year is when she makes her annual visit to see her relatives based in New Delhi. She has decided to share her love of this vast country with YJA readers!
In and around New Delhi you can find lots of amazing things. Although the city is crammed full of people, in the streets you still find a variety of animals.
Within the crowds, you’ll often see cows, as they are a form of god and the population pray to them as well as their human gods. There are also lots of dogs around but not as pets; they are, sadly, wild.
Such animals are seen all over India but the thing special about New Delhi is that certain animals are also thieves. But what kind of animal would steal? Well, believe it or not, these annoying thieves are … monkeys!
These monkeys steal from anyone they see and they target spectacles, food and even purses! They do this because nobody used to feed them but nowadays more people are prepared to give them peanuts or some real edible food. Not surprisingly, the more selfish monkeys want the entire bag to themselves and, if necessary, they will resort to stealing.
Monkey welfare expert, Pawan Sharma commented: “What people do is feed monkeys, then, when they return for more, the people try to scare them away. The monkeys then develop skills to snatch food, which is when they come into conflict with humans, enter houses, societies, apartment complexes.”
Many people feed monkeys on Tuesday and Saturdays — days associated with the monkey-faced Hindu god Hanuman. People carrying food risk being bitten and the risks are high because around 90 percent of the monkeys carry tuberculosis.
India’s Central Zoo Authority has been working with the National Primate Center in California to reduce the monkey population by using contraceptives left in food and sterilization of captured monkeys.
Kavya, Year 6