New Delhi, India – Security officials at the Commonwealth Games aren’t monkeying around any more, deploying langurs at several venues in New Delhi to keep the smaller simians from causing any trouble.
Langurs are a common type on monkey in south Asia, and because they are large and fierce they are often used in India to keep other species such as simians in check in public places.
The New Delhi Municipal Council said it will put 10 langurs on duty outside several venues starting today, but that number will increase in the days leading up to Sunday’s opening ceremony.
“The additional langurs will take care of the games venues and other important areas,” the council told the Press Trust of India news agency.
Spotting monkeys in Delhi is not uncommon.
The animals roam through buildings throughout city, often causing havoc as they scamper through hospitals and government offices.
In 2007, the deputy mayor of New Delhi was killed when he fell from his balcony during an attack by wild monkeys, while 25 other people were wounded when a monkey went on a rampage in the city.
The 19th edition of the Commonwealth Games, only the second to be held is Asia after Kuala Lumpur in 1998, has also seen its share of other animal-related issues, among other more serious problems already facing organizers.
Besides the stray dogs that run rampant on the streets, a 1-meter cobra was found at the swimming venue and another snake was caught in a room at the athletes’ village.
Sacred cows also roam unimpeded in the capital city.
Besides the usual problems facing organizers as the October 3-14 games near, the games were dealt another blow when South African runner Caster Semenya pulled out of the competition because of a back injury.
Semenya, who took the 800-meter world title last year in Berlin, had been the biggest star still left in the games after the withdrawal of several other high-profile athletes, including Usain Bolt, David Rudisha, Jessica Ennis and Scottish cyclist Chris Hoy.