Menacing Monkey Moves into Abandoned House, Attacks Children and Cyclists

A monkey that moved into a long-abandoned house in a village in India has been terrorizing residents for months, attacking children and cars and pushing people from their bikes.

The male gray langur monkey has been menacing residents in Panjlasa village, in the state of Haryana, for over two and a half months, The Indian Express reports. It said the monkey had damaged a dozen cars in this period. It had also targeted moving bikes, pushing them over as people rode along.

Local resident Hina Bakshi told the newspaper: "The langur has become a menace in our village ... We do not know where it came from, but it has no fear of humans. Children are the most vulnerable to attacks. We cannot leave our kids to play in the open even inside our homes."

Langur monkeys are protected in India under the Wildlife Protection Act. Hunting them can result in a three-year prison sentence, a fine of 25,000 Rupees ($330), or both.

Earlier this year, an estimated 1,500 people attended a funeral for langur monkey in India, with the funerary rites including a large procession and feast. Attendees at the event, which took place in a village in the central state of Madhya Pradesh, were also filmed sitting down in groups at the event and eating served food.

However, langur monkeys can become problematic in towns and cities in India.

In December last year, two were caught in the Beed district of Maharashtra state after supposedly slaughtering hundreds of dogs in "revenge" attacks after a baby monkey was killed. The monkeys were seen carrying puppies to the tops of buildings where they would fall to their deaths or die from a lack of food or water.

In Panjlasa, the gray langur has been stealing food from kitchens and attacking children playing outdoors, The Indian Express said. One resident said she was trapped inside her car by the monkey, which sat on the roof of the vehicle and refused to leave.

The monkey was even driven 15 miles away from the village but it quickly returned.

"The langur jumped on the roof of a car," resident Chander Pal told the newspaper. "The car's driver did not stop and took the animal around 25 km outside the village. But the animal was back in the village even before the driver made it back."

Residents are now asking wildlife officials from the city of Ambala to intervene. ML Rajvanshi, from the Haryana Forest Department, is quoted as saying: "The gray langur is not a solitary animal. It might have strayed from its group and reached the village, which is situated in the Shivalik foothills. We will rescue it. I have instructed the area wildlife personnel to do what is needed. "

Langur monkeys, of which there are various subspecies, are a common sight across the Indian subcontinent and interact with humans frequently.

Newsweek has contacted the Haryana Forest Department for comment.

langur monkey
Stock image of a langur monkey. A gray langur has been attacking residents of a village in India for over two months. Getty Images