A monkey in Delhi. Photo by vm2827 from Flickr.
The New York Times reports today about how monkeys are camping out in Delhi’s parks and green areas, causing all sorts of nuisances as they mingle with other primates, namely humans. Jumping right to the heart of the matter, the Times explains exactly what’s going on:
The phenomenon is a side effect of India’s rapid urbanization. As Delhi expands, with half a million new residents moving in every year, the green areas in and around the capital, which for centuries have been the monkeys’ habitat, grow smaller. Their territory encroached on, many monkeys uproot to settle in the city center.
India’s not alone. When I was growing up in Northern California, on multiple occasions I heard news reports about mountain lions mauling dogs in suburban backyards, as the ever expanding ring of suburbs encroached on the mountain lion’s habitat. As it turns out, this problem is not isolated to just California or Dehli.