Thankfully, not ours. Not yet, anyway. But in Hampi (Occupied Territory) they are. From the Times of India:

The administration here is terrified of monkeys. The reason is officials fear that these simians may pose a security threat during President Pratibha Patil’s visit here on Sunday. The only way out they see is ‘operation evacuation’.

As the President’s visit is hardly a day away, the local administration started worrying about the monkeys flying around the famous Virupaksha Temple.

Flying monkeys!? It’s getting worse than I thought! Winged creatures, swooping down and snatching dogs off the streets!

The much-worried district commissioner Aravinda Srivastava on Friday ordered the forest officials to catch all the monkeys in and around the temple and leave them in the forest! Without delay, the monkey-catching team from the forest department arrived at the site and started catching them earnestly.

And earnestly is the best way to catch a monkey. You start going all willy-nilly with monkeys, they’ll kill you.

The local citizens who worship monkeys (the epic Ramayana says Vali, Sugreeva and Hanuman lived in Hampi), started protesting. The news somehow reached Bangalore and writer Chidananda Murthy spoke to the deputy commissioner and lodged his protest. He even threatened a dharna if the order is not withdrawn. But the monkey-grabbing continued.

Speaking to TOI, Chidananda Murthy strongly condemned the move and urged the police to catch the terrorists and not the monkeys. How can the monkeys pose a threat to the President’s security when armed men heavily guard her? How can the temple break the daily tradition of feeding the monkeys, he asked.

Doesn’t he know that the monkeys are terrorists too? I hope her bodyguards are wearing poo-resistant clothes.

When the Times of India contacted range forest officer Ravindranath, he said the team had caught 30 monkeys and that they will be released at the same place an hour after the President leaves Hampi. The monkeys caught were given medical check-up and special feeding arrangements are made for them.

We do the same thing with the homeless here.

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