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Trained monkeys hired to protect athletes, visitors at Commonwealth Games

September 28, 2010 | 11:49 am

Monkeys_400 Organizers of this year's Commonwealth Games in New Delhi have had their share of problems, not the least of which are wild animals said to be infesting the stadiums and housing areas.

Athletes and other visitors may take comfort in the fact that organizers have hired a well-trained team to keep the area safe ... although they may be slightly alarmed to learn that they are being protected by a team of monkeys.

According to the UK's Daily Telegraph, a team of trained langur monkeys has been brought in to scare off wild animals, including wild dogs, snakes and other monkeys. Langur monkeys are said to be very intelligent but also aggressive and territorial, making them very effective in keeping other animals away from a given area.

India's NewsX said that a single langur monkey can scare away a troop of 20 wild monkeys.

The Commonwealth Games, held every four years, are scheduled to begin this weekend. Some teams had threatened to pull out due to poor accomodations and the infestation of wild animals.

Wild monkeys are said to have been stealing food and attacking humans around the venues. Flooding nearby has caused snakes to flee toward the athletes' village, with one competitor even finding a cobra in his room.

-- Chuck Schilken

Photo: Langur monkeys sit on a pavement near Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium, one of the venues for the Commonwealth Games. Credit: Parivartan Sharma / Reuters