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As India heads towards a general election, Prime Minister Modi has come under rising pressure to deal with a vicious opponent, monkeys. Troops of red-faced macaques are running havoc around the capital of New Delhi. Confidently snatching food, breaking power lines, and tearing up documents snatched from government buildings. Hundreds of thousands of monkeys are estimated to dwell in Delhi.
Officials say the monkeys have colonized areas around parliament and key ministries. Government employees say they have to walk to work armed with sticks and stones.>>
> Sometimes you'll be carrying a cell phone, or a hands-free device, and they'll snatch that away from you. Food, you can forget about it.
>> The rapid growth of Indian cities has displaced the macaques, driving them into built-up areas. The monkeys have a protected status here, but their rapid population growth is causing fatal clashes with people. In 2007, the primates pushed the deputy mayor of Delhi off a balcony to his death.
And last month, a 12-day-old boy was killed after he was snatched from his mother. The government has trialed several strategies to try and fight the menace. But many in the Hindu majority country keep feeding the animals, who they consider to be connected to the god, Hanuman. Authorities have recently hired around 40 so called monkey chasers to try and deal with the problem.
Monkey chasers used to catch monkeys and turn them into street performers. Now they're imitating the sound of langurs>>
An animal the macaques are frightened of. But it's only a temporary fix. The monkeys usually return by the end of the day. Animal rights activists say there's no easy fix.
If the animals keep getting fed, they will return.