Being Human

Radha Rangarajan

This was photographed early in the morning at Nandi hills (near Bangalore), a good birding destination with an evergreen forest patch on the top.

A Bonnet Macaque that lives in the wild, with no human interaction is a docile, shy creature. As a stark contrast, the ‘monkey’ that all city-folk know exhibits the exact opposite behavior – aggressive, thieving, angry, and dangerous even. The way this intelligent, curious species has adapted itself to whatever environment it has been introduced to is amazing.

It is important that one doesn’t stop on highways while driving through jungles to feed macaques on the road. They have a natrual enriching diet – tender leaves, Sterculia and Ficus fruits, and more. They are wild creatures and don’t need humans to feed them chips, biscuits and the like.

The hotel and snacks store owners there use catapults and stones to chase these aggressive monkeys away. But, I’ve always had a doubt that they use other, more harmful ways to keep the monkeys away.

Read More on the dangers of feeding monkeys in this article by T.R. Shankar Raman of NCF.

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