The monkey attack!

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#1 Oct 16th, 2001, 15:48
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Quite some time ago I had a close encounter with monkeys in Rishikesh.
I was walking unsuspectingly across the Laxshman Jhula bridge with some bananas in a semi transparent plastic bag, suddenly a gang of monkeys hanging on the bridge's superstructures jumped on me from all sides. In a second I had five monkeys all over me, one of them ripped off my plastic bag and ran with the bananas, the others split immediately and ran after him.
The whole event lasted only a few seconds, I was totally taken by surprise, I froze and didn't make any gesture of defense, it proved to be a good thing because, as I heard later, some people who had the same experience gesticulated and got bitten (and had to take anti-rabies shots subsequently). I was also told that all food must be hidden when passing near monkeys on that bridge and I guess it's a good idea wherever there are monkeys.
** Humor is Freedom **
Last edited by IVAN; Oct 30th, 2001 at 16:40..
#2 Oct 16th, 2001, 21:08
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monkeys are vegetarians!

Ivan, the next time you pack the bananas, put them into a leather bag. Monkeys are strict vegetarians and would not dare to attack leather. Do not know whether they also avoid artificial leather... but to be on the safe side, take genuine one.
#3 Oct 20th, 2001, 16:25
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#3

context







Last edited by IVAN; May 23rd, 2003 at 15:06..
#4 Oct 26th, 2001, 18:53
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#4

Monkey attack

Hello Ivan. I have seen the monkeys hanging around the bridges in Rishikesh. So thatís what they were waiting for! Monkeys, especially the macaques, have learned that all sorts of good things come in plastic bags- if they are lucky, a nice bunch of bananas. Sometimes they will just go for the plastic bag and discard the contents even if there is nothing edible inside. We have been mugged in Bharatpur Bird Reserve. As we sat on a small bridge a large male macaque came up behind us and made off with a bagful of oranges. In the same reserve I saw a young couple, who had stopped at the side of the road to mend a cycle, almost lose a shoulder bag they had placed on the road beside them. The guy had a short struggle with the monkey (not too wise) and the monkey took off. As the bag contained passports, money and travellers cheques I can understand why the guy was reluctant to let it go. I have seen shoppers mugged in Agra and Shimla in the past but most people know the risks involved and accept it philosophically.
Langurs tend to be a bit more wary of people except in places where people feed them and are generally more self sufficient. One of my best experiences with langurs in India was at a temple at Ranthambore fort in Rajasthan where I sat quietly in the middle of a troupe of them, some only a metre away, while they preened, suckled young and the youngsters played games with each other.

Like your pics of Rishikesh
#5 Oct 29th, 2001, 20:28
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#5

Langurs

Sorry to disapoint you Alan, the photos are not mine, those are just links to some images I found on the internet and used to situate where the event took place. Btw. I believe that it is a cheaper method for Mike's site because there is no need to upload pictures, you can just link some pictures you find on the net using VB code and the speed of their appearance on your browser doesn't depend on Mike's site but on the page where the link directs. I suppose that one should credit the web sites where he found the pictures and I will be sure to do that the next time I link some pictures.
One fast way to find pictures you want is searching for them at:
http://images.google.com/


About the Langurs, I had an encounter with them in the surroundings of Rishikesh, I was following a small path trough the Jungle and as I was pushing away the foliage blocking my view, I suddenly found myself in front of a clearing full of Langur monkeys. They all looked at me and I must say that it was a "gulp" moment because I was alone and there were at least fifty of them, whole families sitting there.
We looked at each others in silence for a moment while I was deciding what to do. I could go back but I would lose hours to find another path or I could continue advancing...
I don't know what made the decision but I suddenly found myself walking among those monkeys asking myself if I was a total idiot, but being careful not to look any of them in the eyes at the same time. They didn't budge and I'm happy to say that I'm live and well to this day.
All the time I had the impression that it was someone else walking there, it was like watching a movie from the outside, not really being there.

This having been said I don't know if I was very lucky, if some higher force kept the monkeys undisturbed or if it was their typical behaviour. Personally I would not recommend to anyone to do something like that in a similar situation, my guess is that it was one of those strange "moments" and that in another situation it could go in a totally different direction.

I have no idea what those monkeys were doing there on that small clearing and in such large numbers, but I'm sure thankful that I found them in such calm disposition, I doubt that I could have done the same thing with fifty Macaques.


Image found at: http://www.indiatravelinfo.com/wlpic.htm



Image found at: http://www.weltweb.com/indejungle.htm
Last edited by IVAN; Oct 30th, 2001 at 16:42..
#6 Oct 29th, 2001, 22:14
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#6
I think you will find Monkeys (both langurs & macacques) attacking tourists only at touristic places not in the real jungle. They are habituated with the coward behaviour of the tourists and got more & more bold. and only attack the tourists. In the same place of Rishikesh if you just watch a little bit you will find some local children are selling nuts/ chickpeas/ bananas. But, the monkeys never attack them. I found a very old woman beggar simply has got a small stick to shoo away them.

Though the most dangerous ones are in the Jakhoo hills of Shimla. There bothe the langurs and Macacques attacks the people. But as to there character the macacques are more aggressive. And they generally attack the women and children (and of course the men with longer hairs & dressed like women like in a Lungi). But generally they avoid the men. I remember last year one macacque want to snatch the passport bag of one of my Japanese group members. But I just snatchee it off from his hand. Though he started to show his teeth to me but I also picked up a stick and it didn't come to me.

Still it is better to keep your food stuff , or, smaller bag inside your napsack or, bag and with a malefriend (if there is any available LOL). And if possible just walk with a group.
#7 Oct 30th, 2001, 01:01
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#7
Well guidedeba, I am unmistakingly male (I even have short hair!) and still they jumped at me from all sides... perhaps they were females?
Seriously, I doubt that the Laksman Jhula macaques are sexist, I heard that they attacked some other men and some got bitten when they tried to defend themselves.
Tourists may behave cowardly sometimes but they are mostly unprepared (the reason why I posted the story in the first place) and unsuspecting (as I was) of a possible attack.
At the time I didn't found necessary to carry a stick, later when I carried some bananas across the bridge I just put them under my jacket and problem solved.
But the attack itself was very interesting because it was so coordinated and intelligent, the macaques suddenly climbed on me from all sides, even the little ones grabbed my feet, but none of them showed me the teeth, they even looked away from me! It was a pure surprise tactics, they obviously had no intention to bite me, just to distract and immobilise me with surprise while one of them grabbed the bag. One could even say that those monkeys had some notions of psychology! This was not some sort of primitive attack, those guys had to think it over!
I didn't feel resentment towards those monkeys, I even felt more sympathy for them after the event because they proved to be so intelligent and in essence intelligently limiting their agressivity to the bare minimum necessary to get the bananas.
However, the fact that their tactic was so well polished shows how much they are acquainted with humans and how they have lost all fear, probably due to the irresponsible behaviour of some tourists who feed them.
Last edited by IVAN; Oct 30th, 2001 at 01:27..
#8 Oct 31st, 2001, 14:54
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#8

Correction

Maybe we are to quick to blame it on the foreign tourists. Coincidently I saw a "National Geographic Explorer" documentary yesterday showing how a group of temple macaques terrorised a small Indian town, to the extent that the authorities caught them all and deported them into the jungle ( alas to no avail... they all returned).
It was clear from the documentary that there were no foreigners feeding them, just local Indians coming to the temple.
#9 Nov 1st, 2001, 06:10
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#9

Some more monkey business

Ivan, this thread has led me to do some research on monkeys in India via the web and there have been some interesting revelations. According to which source one takes, 30,000ó40,000 people are bitten by monkeys in India each year and I would guess almost all are Indians, as I have not met a tourist yet who has been bitten. This is a rapidly growing problem because of the pressure of human population on the natural habitats of monkeys. They now roam most towns and cities causing havoc in shopping areas and even Government offices. Itís thought that 50% of the monkeys in India are now concentrated in urban areas.

As far as rabies cases in India are concerned about 30% are attributed to bites and scratches from monkeys, 56% to mongooses (??), 1% to jackals, 1% to mice and the remainder to dogs. Tourists are quite right to be careful around monkeys and I would also suggest that they donít go around stroking mongooses. If you are bitten itís advisable to have treatment within 48 hours. You canít afford to take a chance that the monkey is not carrying rabies.

guidedeba mentions the monkeys at Jackoo temple near Shimla. We were mugged by their ancesters 30 years ago. He is also correct about monkeys mainly attacking women and children, seldom men.

The practical steps to take around monkeys are
1. Hide all food in a backpack or carrying bag.
2. Donít picnic without first checking that there are no monkeys around.
3. If attacked then allow the monkeys to take the food.

For some interesting reading try

www.flakmag.com/features/monkey.html
#10 Nov 5th, 2001, 06:59
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#10

deja vu swayambhu

Reminds me of my first time to Swayambhunath in Ktm. The 'Monkey Temple' is well named, no sooner had I stepped onto the first of the complex's steps than a horde of macaques ambushed me. They wait in the trees & use the element of surprise. I was naively munching on a mandarin, luxury after being in the hills for a month, & so incensed by them jumping up trying to snatch it that I finished it off & threw the peel at them. Perhaps not the wisest thing to do, lots of shrieking & baring of teeth, but its mainly bluster I suspect. Langurs appear to have a much better disposition...
#11 Nov 5th, 2001, 16:30
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#11

Who wins?

I have also assumed that langurs have a quieter disposition than macaques but something i read recently made me wonder about this. Langurs are now being employed (at a wage which is then converted into bananas) to chase macaques from some Government buildings. Has anyone any observations to add. If troupes of langurs and macaques come into conflict, who wins?
#12 Jan 8th, 2002, 22:56
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#12

Monkeys Amber Fort

after just arriving in India we visited Amber Fort...Amazing place BTW
After reaching the top we thought sitting on the walls looking out over rajisthan would make quite a nice picnic spot with our bananas, mangos, tangerines etc
So after laying it out...well you know the rest
It must have took them 1 second to clear the place of fruit
Ambush par-excellence
I have to say for entertainment value it was priceless
#13 May 23rd, 2003, 14:46
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#13
We have regular monkey attacks in my house in Bangalore. Usually it is a pack of 10 to 15 monkeys. They help themselves to things in the house from fruits to mugs to bright toys. One even took my alarm clock .
Some of these monkeys once cornered some small kittens we were raising and pulled on their ears and tail till they tired of the sport. We just vacate the house when they enter. They're usually gone in 10 mins (fast workers, 'em monkeys) and then we go back in and salvage whatever is left.
>
#14 May 23rd, 2003, 15:44
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#14
here's my scary attack-monkey from Amber Fort...photo ... he looks sweet but I think it was the sight of fruit that freaked him out soon after this photo was taken. A monkey on the rampage is a frightening experience!!
#15 May 23rd, 2003, 18:48
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#15
the stories here inspired me to put up some real situation in the news column. It is unbelievable! But I have sometimes passed the langur and his keeper going to work on the cycle. The langur sits behind in the carrier of the bike and holds on tight to the guy's shirt like a child! It is definitely an amusing sight!
'm learning to fly
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