From: Reuters
Published November 8, 2006 12:00 AM

Indian Court Urged to End Monkey Business

NEW DELHI — An Indian state government has asked the country's highest court to help get a monkey of its back -- or rather about 300 monkeys.

The Madhya Pradesh government asked the supreme court not to force it to accept 300 stray monkeys rounded up in the national capital, New Delhi, after judges earlier ordered the pesky primates to be relocated there.

In its application, the Madhya Pradesh government said previous attempts to provide new homes for urbanised monkeys had resulted in clashes between them and local residents.

"The behaviour and pattern of living of these monkeys has led to serious problems for local inhabitants," the state said, arguing that the urbanised monkeys showed absolutely no fear of humans.

"They tend to be aggressive and attack local inhabitants in general, children in particular."

The state also argued the imported monkeys had various diseases which threatened the health of other indigenous wildlife, and their excessive appetites had led to a decline in bird populations as both species competed for similar food.

Monkeys are a common sight in many Indian centres, but are occassionally rounded up by authorities when they become too much of a pest.

Authorities are reluctant to cull them as many Hindus worship the monkey god Hanuman, seen as a symbol of strength, perseverance and devotion.

Source: Reuters

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