Mix it up with menacing macaques

Michelle Tsai of Slate tells what to do when monkeys attack:

Baboons, which sometimes attack humans in Africa, are much more dangerous: They're bigger and less predictable, and they're armed with 3-inch-long canines. Last year, a South African man's forearms were ripped to the bone, and doctors dug out a baboon tooth during surgery.


The deputy mayor of New Delhi, India, fell off his balcony and died Sunday after being attacked by monkeys, his family members say. The city has around 10,000 monkeys, some of which have taken to roaming through government buildings as they steal food and rip apart documents.


I work in a gum'nt building! Let's look at that story closer:

The increasingly aggressive animals swing effortlessly between the offices of the defence, finance and external affairs ministries and some have even been spotted in the prime minister's office.

"Swing effortlessly?" But macaques aren't brachiators! What are these, some kind of new gum'nt supermonkeys?

Maybe they're a whole 'nother kind of "swingers"?

Bond, James Bond

"Secret Agent: Monkey Suit" photo credit: TCM Hitchhiker, Creative Commons license

"They are moving in very high security areas," says Defence Ministry officer, IK Jha.
Officials say there is little that can be done.

Does this remind you of those stories where parks are inundated by thousands of Canada geese, who just want to stay there all winter, and there's "little that can be done," because heaven knows you can't just shoot them?

Animal rights activists say the main problem is not the rising number of monkeys but the growing population of humans.
"We have encroached on their homelands, we have taken away their fruits, we have reduced their water sources and we are trapping them from their home range, from their forests, so they are coming to urban areas," says rights activist Iqbal Malik.

Monkeys are adaptable, they can live well on trash heaps and handouts, and their populations are growing. Rhesus macaques are not in trouble -- they're like herd-living raccoons that can climb up your walls and open the windows.

Well, we'd better look back at that first story to see what to do:

Primatologists will sometimes send a macaque warning signal called the open-mouth threat. Basically, form an "O" with your mouth, lean toward them with your body and head, and raise your eyebrows. Female victims might seek protection in a group of men, since monkeys are somewhat afraid of males. But whatever you do, don't freak out; those who scream, wave their arms, and run away are only going to make the macaques even more aggressive.

Remember, whatever you do, don't freak out!