Human Exceptionalism

Time to Cull India’s Marauding Delhi Monkeys

When animals endanger human health and welfare, sometimes we have to get lethal. That time sure seems to have come in India, where (as reported here previously) macaques have overpopulated Delhi for many years.  Bureaucrats have tried to avoid acting lethally, most recently bu using a larger primate to take the monkeys down.  It didn’t work.  From the Telegraph story:

There have been a number of attacks in the last year by macaques on langurs in what appears to be a reversal in the jungle pecking order in Delhi. The implications are serious for those living in the heart of the Indian capital where the macaque population has grown unchecked in recent years amid a widespread reverence towards an animal which reminds Hindus of their monkey God Hanuman. Many in the capital feed them on Tuesdays and Saturdays, which are marked as “Hanuman days.” 

Beyond birds, it is usually a mistake to routinely feed wild animals as it interferes with their natural lives.  They tend to get more aggressive and used to their human servants–which was why Yellowstone cracked down on the feeding of bears.

The problem is very serious as the Delhi monkeys materially threaten human health and welfare:

 However, a series of attacks on members of the public has led to calls for the “monkey menace” to be dealt with. More than 90 per cent carry tuberculosis, they swarm central government offices, prowl the landings, and bite through essential internet cables. Many attack people carrying food and even residents relaxing on their verandahs. Delhi’s former deputy mayor was killed when he was attacked by a macaque on his apartment balcony and fell to his death.

Humans owe animals important duties of care, but we have a higher duty to our own welfare.  The time has come for India to deal with the increasingly aggressive and overpopulated Delhi macaques lethally in as humane a culling method as possible under the circumstances.

And the odd thing? My call to protect human life, health, and welfare from marauding monkeys will be looked upon in many quarters as cruel and heartless.  Such is the misanthropy of the modern age.


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