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Rhesus Macaques sit & groom each other on a Monkey temple rooftop overlooking Jaipur. Most of the city's urban monkeys are Rhesus Macaques who live a life of relative luxury since they are believed by local Hindus to personify Hanuman, the cherished 'Monkey God' who banished evil in the Indian epic Ramayana. Location: Monkey temple (Galwar Bagh), Jaipur (The pink city), Rajasthan, India.

Photo by: Timothy Allen

Timothy Allen

Monkeys Steal COVID-19 Tests

During the pandemic, these primates in India have taken “Monkey Business” to a whole new level.

May 29, 2020

On Thursday, a group of red-faced rhesus macaques attacked a lab assistant near Meerut Medical College in Delhi and ran away with test samples from potential COVID-19 patients. The monkeys climbed up into trees and chewed on the samples before throwing them back.

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In old part of Delhi you have groups of monkeys on the street.

Photo by: t-lorien

t-lorien

In old part of Delhi you have groups of monkeys on the street.

Close Call

Initially people were worried that this would cause an outbreak in the area, but the tests were retrieved, and none had been damaged. Meerut Medical College superintendent, Dheeraj Raj stated that, “They were still intact and we don’t think there is any risk of contamination or spread.” However, the patients were retested in order to ensure accurate results.

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179770305

A family of Rhesus Macaques explore a city landscape. Most of Jaipur's urban monkeys are Rhesus Macaques who live a life of relative luxury since they are believed by local Hindus to personify Hanuman, the cherished 'Monkey God' who banished evil in the Indian epic Ramayana.

Photo by: Timothy Allen

Timothy Allen

A family of Rhesus Macaques explore a city landscape. Most of Jaipur's urban monkeys are Rhesus Macaques who live a life of relative luxury since they are believed by local Hindus to personify Hanuman, the cherished 'Monkey God' who banished evil in the Indian epic Ramayana.

Monkeying Around During Lockdown

While this may seem like an event out of a movie, monkeys in India have become bolder during the pandemic. With the country under lockdown, many people who would normally stop and give food to the monkeys while out and about are staying home. Officials have asked the public not to feed the animals in order to minimize the risk of having the virus jump into the species. With a food source suddenly gone, people have reported that food and even cell phones have been stolen from them. It seems that the primates have taken matters (and other people’s belongings) into their own hands.

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