IANS reports from Lucknow:
With an estimated 3,000 monkeys at large in certain residential areas of the Uttar Pradesh capital, local authorities are chasing the animals on a war footing, particularly after a child lost his life to a marauding simian pack.
After chasing monkeys for nearly 48 hours, they had their first success on Tuesday afternoon when they trapped two monkeys.
So after “nearly 48 hours” of being on a “war footing”, our state authorities caught 2 out of 3000 monkeys. I’m just glad they didn’t shoot a couple of stray cats in an encounter.
It seems that the municipality had tried to catch monkeys earlier in a public-private partnership with “monkey catcher Harbans Singh”, who IANS quotes as saying:
Earlier I have trapped as many as about 500 monkeys, but my bill for more than 100 monkeys was pending for more than two years. So how do you expect me to do anything?
So now the government is doing the job itself. I can imagine Mayawati sending a minister to Lucknow to question the official monkey catchers on their progress. He walks into their office and asks, “Hello boys, how’s it going?” And then they jump on him with a net and pin him down. The local counselor asks, in horror, “What are you doing?” And they say, “We caught a third monkey! We caught a third monkey! Give advance Diwali bonus!”