By Tim Binnall
A village in India has turned into something of a ghost town after being overrun by hundreds of marauding monkeys that forced several families to flee their homes. The unsettling animal invasion has reportedly impacted the community of Narasapuram, which has been grappling with the pernicious primates for over a decade. Although the creatures were initially a small neighborhood nuisance, their population has exploded in recent years with some estimating that there are now about 400 macaques in and around the area.
Alas, as the number of monkeys roaming the village has increased, so too have their encounters with residents and, as one can imagine, these interactions are more often than rather unpleasant. What began with attacks on children and senior citizens soon gave way to even more aggressive antics reminiscent of the Planet of the Apes film series. "We have to keep the doors and windows bolted," explained the village chief Srivarama Krishna, "they are smart enough to open the door, come inside, and steal the cooked food."
He went on to lament that "people started getting attacked even when they used to return home from the shop with groceries, the monkeys would just steal the bags." Ultimately, around 20 families in the village grew so fed up with the constant harassment from the creatures that they left their homes to live in a nearby community. And, in a testament to how pervasive the problem has become, Krishna was elected to his post last year after running on a platform specifically focused on eradicating the monkeys from the village.
So far, it would seem that his agenda has been relatively successful as a recent media report credited him with driving a whopping 100 monkeys from the village. The chief managed to accomplish this feat by soliciting funds from residents and then enlisting experts to relocate the creatures to a forested area far away from the community. Although it remains to be seen whether or not the ousted macaques will come back, the news has been welcomed by the displaced residents, some of whom have begun to return to their homes.