Authorities in India are determined to keep a lid on any monkey trade before world leaders travel next week, by placing life-sized cut-outs of angry langurs around the capital to discourage the pesky little primates from wreaking havoc or hogging the limelight as the country holds power. Center stage.
India is preparing to welcome G20 leaders to New Delhi next weekend, including US President Joe Biden, in an event of utmost importance at home.
Little is left to chance, not even the city’s mischievous population of rhesus macaques.
The little monkeys are found all over the capital, running across roads and jumping between rooftops, causing a public nuisance and sometimes attacking unexpected passers-by.
As the government embarks on a major beautification campaign, with fresh wall paints, trees planted and colorful flowers placed in key areas across the city, New Delhi authorities have taken steps to ensure that efforts are not spoiled by animals.
Enter the langurs – or at least cardboard cutouts of langurs – and the men trained to look like the larger primates.
“(The monkeys) don’t want to go near the big pieces of langurs because they feel afraid,” Satish Upadhyay, vice president of the New Delhi Municipal Council, told news agency ANI. “Monkeys cannot be displaced, hurt or beaten.”
Upadhyay added that they have also deployed 30 to 40 men who can imitate the sounds of langurs to trick the rhesus monkeys into thinking they are nearby.
He added that the council also left food for the monkeys in the forest areas to encourage them to stay there.
Monkeys are highly respected in Hindu-majority India, and programs to cull wild or stray animals have previously proven highly controversial. Hence the need for more humane solutions.
The langur monkey is larger and more aggressive than the smaller rhesus macaque, and has been used by authorities long in the past to scare off marauding gangs.
Live langurs were rented Reuters news agency reported that he was put into service when the 2010 Commonwealth Games were held in New Delhi.
Much of central New Delhi will stop during the G-20 summit with a massive operation to keep world leaders moving freely between hotels and meeting venues.
Billboards announcing the summit and showing the face of Prime Minister Narendra Modi have been placed on many street corners, while an increased police and security presence is set to take place in the days leading up to the meeting.
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