Monkeys – The Shimla outlaws

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Monkeys eyeing/snatching things from hands has been a common sight at the erstwhile summer capital since ages. Except that these monkeys who in earlier years played silent thieves (Silently snatched eatables from hands) have now graduated into ‘gangsters’. Everyday sight on the path from Coffee house till Chaura Madan, one can witness group of monkeys surrounding tourist/locals carrying eatables. Like gangsters they surround their prey and till the tourist does not hand over their eatables, these packs of simians don’t let them past. These monkeys are sharp enough to target places particularly near food joints. Opposite the BSNL office, next to City Point, below Kaithu- Chaura Madan turn off near State bank of India, next to the accountant general offices are some of their favorites looting points.

Earlier days this looting style was only witnessed on the Jakhu Hanuman temple hike. But in the recent past the simian habits have changed. These animals which were afraid due to low vision in dark are now strolling the city roads then. Mostly during setting hours of the evenings, lesser people are walking on the roads. This time is being specifically eyed by the monkey gangs of this area. They know lesser crowd on the road gives them a better opportunity to accomplish the dacoity of food. Everyday a common sight during evening hours, the monkey gangs are seen sitting next to City point. The minute they eye a vulnerable person/kid, they go for it. Two to three of them would pose attack, and stand in front of their prey. They would not move aside even if ‘shoooo..ed’ away, till the person hands over their eatables to these muggers. Though till date, no attack by them have been reported in the evening hours. But if in the evolution process their lifestyle/ behavior has changed to being out in late evenings anything adverse could also be expected.

Tourists visit Shimla and without a sight of the Shimla Monkeys their sojourn is incomplete. The walk from Mall Road till Chaura Madan is heritage one, and most visitors like a stroll here. Even locals from Kaithu, Chaura Madan, and other areas walk it every day. A walk down/up this road with eating item in hand is a common sight. Authority vehicles keep traversing these roads. Yet neither the administration nor the forest department has cared to look into the issue, to take measures for barring the simians from conducting such menace.

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