Indian border guards dress as bears to scare away dozens of monkeys

Indian border guards have taken drastic measures, dressing up as 'scare bears' to clamp down on troops of vicious rampaging monkeys .

Video shows officials at the Mirthi ITBP camp on the border with Tibet have donning black bear costumes in a desperate bid to deter gangs of macaques from coming near.

The two-minute-long clip shows two guards emerge from a wooden watch station wearing black furry bodysuits, before slinking down a hillside as around a dozen macaques flee into nearby woods.

The station in Indian's Eastern Uttarakhand province has been overrun by the pests, as officials in India become increasingly frustrated at what is becoming a national problem.

Airports, bureaucratic offices, military bases, religious shrines and even whole villages have become overrun with scavenging primates , who are said to be displaced from their natural habits.

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Some departments have hit on a solution monkey-human turf wars and the word is spreading, after a bear experiment conducted at the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport in Ahmedabad proved successful.

However, some don't believe the tactic will last for long.

"It is only a matter of time before they figure out that these are humans…see Monkeys do have some intelligence…" one tweeted responded to the border guards' video, which appeared on Asian News International's Twitter feed.

Despite measures to curb the monkey population through national sterilisation programs, the problem doesn't seem to be going away and monkeys are becoming increasingly emboldened, especially around food sources.

There are estimated to over 2 million of the pests roaming the land. In some cases, the monkeys have even turned murderous. A baby boy died after a monkey dropped a stone on his head last November.

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The primate picked up the rock on a terrace at the home of the infant, aged four months, in northern India.

The boy was on the ground floor with his parents when the stone is said to have either thrown by the animal or slipped from its paws.

The macaques of India are getting angrier and more violent according to Iqbal Malik, a primatologist and environmental activist based in New Delhi who says they have suddenly turned aggressive because of human interference.

Malik told Gizmodo last year: "Large-scale deforestation destroys their natural habitats, resulting in the fragmentation of groups and causing monkeys to move towards rural and urban areas in search of food."

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As well as this, the decision to carry out a mass sterilisation program may also be to blame for the aggressive displays in recent years, Malik believes.

"The sterilisation itself is innocuous if done right. However, the forest department’s haphazard approach to the trapping and release of monkeys and their treatment before and after the operation could be the real reason behind the problem,” she said.

Non-harmful methods such as dressing up as bears are needed to keep the macaques bay because the monkeys are protected under the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972.

  • Monkeys

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