Saturday, February 12, 2011

Monkey Tidbits: This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things

1: On a Sunday morning last December, I made toast and went off to visit Devan, a friend from WCB who had recently joined Woodstock staff. As always, I shut the door behind me. An hour later Devan and I came back to find my roommate Lauren frantically searching the house for the bag of brown bread. I immediately joked that a monkey stole it and then recalled that Emily (our third roommate) had made toast after me and then went back to bed, so perhaps she had the bag in her room. When she awoke, she swore she had put it back in the kitchen. More frantic searching. Finally, Devan recalled that we passed a monkey in the tree while we were reaching the house. And, the monkey definitely had something in its hands. Lo and behold, upon further inspection we find the evidence near the tree.

Photo credit: Lauren

So here's what happened: Sometime while I was at Devan's and my roommates were both upstairs the naughty monkey opened our screen door, walked through our living room and dining room, found the bag of bread on the kitchen counter, and walked back out without leaving a trace. The best part, he remembered to close the screen door on his way out!


2: After hearing many rumors, I have finally found a legitimate news article regarding the relocation of rhesus monkeys. Last fall was particularly grim with hoards of the ugly brown monkeys who are notorious for troublemaking. What to do? Well, capture them! And let the womenfolk rejoice!

Monkey relocation in full swing in Mussoorie
Thursday, 13.01.2011, 04:59pm (GMT+5.5)

By Sunil Sonker
Mussoorie, 13 Jan:
Under the aegis of Nagar Palika, Mussoorie, the monkey relocation drive is in full swing after persistent complaints by the residents of the town. The monkey population, which has soared to an alarming level, has become a nuisance for tourists and residents and relocation is considered the only option to solve the problem.
According to Rohitash Sharma, EO, Nagar Palika, the monkeys are being trapped with the assistance of a team that has come from Mathura, led by a professional trapper, and till today many monkeys had been caged and released in Mohand and Doiwala forests during the past few days.
The residents of Mussoorie, especially the housewives, are happy with this drive, as the monkeys harassed the womenfolk even more.
However, the scientists are unhappy and are apprehensive about the whole relocation drive carried out by the Nagar Palika authorities.
According to the monkey experts and scientists, the methodology of relocation is not foolproof and has major shortcomings. The experts, under condition of anonymity, said that relocation was a temporary option and a long term solution needed to be looked into regarding this. They also said that mass awareness and banning of human feeding was the answer to the problem.
People were of the view that decrease in forest cover was a major reason for the monkeys thronging to urban areas, particularly as they are social animals that thrive in urban centres. They further added that the Alpha male ought to be captured and sterilised, which would help in controlling the population of these monkeys.

-Garhwal Post, January 13, 2011
From my searching, I also found the fun fact that a monkey catcher falls under the employment category of a Civil Construction Worker.

Click here for the photo credit and also for a suspiciously verbatim article from the last monkey capture in October 2008. Maybe Mussoorie should start thinking of a more sustainable solution...


3: Last week, I walked home to find a pile of folded clothes sitting on a chair outside the front door with this note from one of my 10th grade students:

Ms. Onkka,
I was staying next door with the Wilkins, when the monkeys decided to steal your clothes of the clothes line. They were scattered all over the yard and even ended up in a tree...but I think I retrieved everything.
They need to be rewashed...I'd be guessing.
When I saw her in class, she added that the monkeys were trying the clothes on.


4: This morning I awoke to the sounds of the large langur monkeys apparently holding track-and-field tryouts on the tin roof. Turns out that due to the relocation of rhesus monkeys, the langurs are enjoying more territory for playing and a new favorite spot is our yard and rooftop.

Smart monkeys can turn on the spigot in the backyard.

Not quite smart enough to think about water conversation though.

Good thing neighbor Howard comes to the rescue!

But where did the water go?

Found some!

The damage from the morning:
Knocked over flower pot and clothes drying rack.

This chair was literally picked up and thrown.

Broken rain gutter #1

Broken front gate

Broken rain gutter #2

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