Monkeys, apes and other simians may be seen by travelers from the US and Europe more frequently in cartoons rather than in real life, but in New Delhi the creatures are no laughing matter. And authorities in the Indian capital are using them to help keep other animals in check during the popular Commonwealth Games.
Gray langurs, larger members of the Old World monkey family, will be on patrol in the streets. While only 2 to 2.5 feet tall, the 28-member team will be patrolling venues and the space around arenas that are already having issues with monkeys and other animals, according to the Mail & Guardian. Along with troublesome monkeys, stray dogs and snakes have been found in and around stadiums, all of which have become a problem for the competitors from the many countries participating in the games, including athletes from India, Australia, Pakistan, Canada and a number of countries in the Caribbean.
“They are there for the monkey problem. They will be moving outside the stadiums,” Devender Prasad, a local law enforcement official, told the newspaper regarding the langurs.
While most readers are unlikely to compete in the games, the prospect of monkeys and apes causing problems for travelers is a serious one. The New Delhi mayor fell to his death in 2007 trying to evade a pack of animals, and vacationers should be wary of their presence.
[Image: Scott Dexter via Flickr]