Building Prisons for Monkeys in India

Don't laugh until you have had your lunch stolen by a monkey.

I had a few run-ins with monkeys in the Amazon and, while it looks funny happening to someone else, when your food is stolen by a monkey WHO IS LAUGHING AND WAIVING YOUR FOOD AT YOU WHILE HANGING FROM A TREE, it can ruin your day.

Now imagine that you are an Indian villager who doesn't have loads of affordable food on every corner. Imagine you are a child who has to walk by these nattering, chattering pests to get to the water well and bring home water for the household. It is intimidating. The monkeys will try to take the water away from the child.

I hesitate to recommend monkey jail as a solution, however, simply because humans have yet to create a jail that rehabilitates. And what if a monkey does something really bad? Are we going to have "lifers" in monkey jail? What about the hardened monkey criminal?

What is going to happen (and this is a prediction here) is that the behaviors of the monkeys are going to follow the group dynamics in prisons, which are just a reflection of the jailers themselves.

May I suggest instead that reforestation be used as a solution? Then the monkeys won't be in our habitat and will stay in their own. I hope.

When I went to India I was told about monkeys who moved into the Parliament building over a hundred years ago, and that same family of monkeys is still there. It sounds cute until you hear how they throw things at the people in the lobby, so you have to keep an eye out and duck from time to time.

Come to think of it, monkeys in the Rayburn Building does sound like fun.

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