Macaques in tha Hood

Part II in the RBM Gang Series


America has its fair share of gangs that have been giving authorities trouble when it comes to punishment and keeping order but in Southeast Asia, police are being faced with an entirely different set of gang problems. This gang is honored in many of India’s cultures despite their acts of public disturbance, theft and even murder.

They’re easily identifiable by their pink faces and more obviously by the fact that they are monkeys.


The monkeys have been a constant problem but the concern over control arose in October of 2007 when New Delhi’s deputy mayor, Sawinder Singh Bajwa fell to his death trying to fight off a group of the simians at his home.

Weeks later the gang rampaged through a village in east Delhi, injuring three people and one monkey even bit a baby’s leg. During a separate attack a man was attacked by a gang of 40-50 monkeys and needed 70 stitches and barely escaped alive.

The police commissioner responded to the media saying, “Wildlife officials are trying to find them. As police we’re not experts in dealing with monkeys. We can deal with mad bulls but monkeys are more difficult.” Please take a moment and consider how out of their skulls these monkeys are to qualify as crazier than a mad bull. A mad… bull.

pre3454Infinitely more manageable than a monkey

An estimated 10,000 rhesus macaques roam free in New Delhi, routinely invading hospitals, Parliament and other government offices and the police have been facing criticism for not taking control of these animals; but if the authorities decide to take control, there may be worse consequences facing them than just an angry gang of displaced monkeys.

Besides animal rights activists who would be up in arms, Hindus would have plenty to say since they revere the monkeys as a living link to Hanuman, a monkey god who symbolizes strength.

The National Geographic, or “Nat Geo” as they more casually call themselves (don’t even get me started) picked up on this gem of a gang and started their own 13 part series that is a mafia monkeys rule the streets of Jaipur, India type of thing. It’s called M Company: Monkey Thieves. They’ve even gone so far as to not only name the monkeys but they give them nicknames so the audience knows their roles. Like Tarak, “the boss” and Rani, “the queen” and a group of three young monkeys grouped as the “rowdy teens.” My personal favorite is Zamir, “the devious.”

As absurd as all this sounds, these lawless monkey gangs make the bloods and crips look like the Muppet Babies.

delhi_monkeyAfter a night of banging, a capo enjoys a well-deserved snack.

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