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  • odd jobs    August 4 
Indian government hires monkey-mimickers to scare macaque monkeys out of New Delhi

Most people think "government contractor" is a fancy way of saying "bored, porn-watching desk drone." That's not the case in India, where city officials in the nation's capital of New Delhi have enlisted the help of some vocally talented individuals to fight off some furry intruders.

New Delhi's posh Central Delhi neighborhood also happens to be a leafy, green haven for macaque monkeys, who come from a jungle reserve just over a mile away. Because the monkeys are mischievous and can even be dangerous, the government needed a way to keep the macaques out of the neighborhood — without harming them, however, because monkeys are revered in Hinduism.

Enter the "monkey wallahs," which roughly translates to "monkey men." These government-hired men patrol the streets of Central Delhi imitating the calls of the macaque monkey's natural enemy: the larger langur monkey. The Indian government used to employ actual langurs to keep the macaques at bay, but a new wildlife law enforced about a year ago forbade keeping langurs in captivity. Instead, the New Delhi Municipal Council now enjoys the services of 40 monkey wallahs who grunt, hoot, and screech in their best langur accent to keep the macaques at bay.

All this monkeying around is hard work, one monkey wallah, Mahesh Nath, told The Wall Street Journal.

"If it's a heavy day, then I might have to even give up my lunch break to shoo the monkeys away," Nath said. "I have to take care of my throat, it's critical to my job."

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